Israel municipality forces Beit Hanina man to self-demolish his residence in Jerusalem

Israel municipality forces Beit Hanina man to self-demolish his residence in Jerusalem


Israel Municipality forced Citizen Imad Rubeen Jaber to self-demolish his house in AL-Ashqariya neighborhood in Beit Hanina town on the claim of "unlicensed construction". The house is of 75m2 and is home for 6 members including 4 children.

Imad Jaber told Land Research Center the following: " In 2005, I built a 75m2 residence on a plot I own in Al-Ashqariya neighborhood. I got married and had my four children in that house. I built the house without a license from the municipality because it never grants licenses for Palestinians on the claim that the area  needs to be planned, not mentioning the high expenses and complex procedures of obtaining building permits. At time of building, employees from the municipality arrived at the location and delivered me a stop-work order but I insisted on finishing the construction. As a result,  I was summoned to the municipality court. Since that time, the attorney I hired has been trying to delay the demolition. On May 2016, the court ruled the demolition of the structure but the attorney managed to delay it until September 2016.

He also added: " ON September 28, 2016 I rented a dozer to demolish my residence to compel to the court's decision. Otherwise, the municipality carries out the demolition where all expenses that might reach up to 70,000 NIS will be pilled to me. My family and I are now living with my brother until we find a place to rent"

Self-Demolition is a Crime against Humanity:

Definition: When an owner of a structure is forced to demolish his property by himself, it is called 'self demolition' or 'silent demolition'. It used to be carried out in quiet or in silence as the name suggests. But recently, due to their increased number of cases, victims have come to disclose that such type of demolition exists and that it is their only choice and speak out about the inhumanity of the Israeli occupation for forcing such a practice.

This kind of demolition is mainly imposed on Palestinians in Jerusalem in efforts to displace them and Judaize the city.

The Israeli occupation always justifies that type of demolition, which is a blatant contravention of the right to residence and a crime against humanity, on the pretext of unlicensed construction.  

[If your house has been built without a building permit, then it is legal and you have to destroy it and remove the wreckage as soon as possible. You also have to take pictures of the destroyed structure and send them to the Inspection Department of the Planning and Construction Committee in the occupying municipality to verify the act. There is a fixed date regarding when you have to carry out the demolition operation and this is a red line you cannot cross. There is a second date set by the municipality court of local affairs to check if you have abided by the demolition order or not. In case you do not comply, the municipality will demolish your residence at your expense. If you cannot pay, you will be jailed, so the lesser of two evils becomes the self-demolition choice.]

Land Research Center  field observers kept a close eye on the matter and recorded 90cases where the owners had to demolish their property by themselves during the past six years(2010-2016) making 558 civilian citizens, more than half of whom are children, homeless and lacking security and stability.

Negative effects of self demolition on families: 

The self or silent demolition causes great pain and feelings of oppression. When the Israeli occupation carries out a demolition operation, the family gets more united in the face of injustice, especially children who become aware of the reality of the occupation. But when the father carries out the demolition, children become confused and view their caretaker as weak and helpless. This may lead to fragmentations, clashes and instability within the family, and children might suffer psychologically and lose trust in the family, society and future. Let alone the loss of money and efforts on the part of the breadwinner and the family.

Objectives of imposing self- demolition on Palestinians by the Israeli occupation:

  • To kick out Palestinians from the occupied city of Jerusalem so Jews become a majority;
  • portray Palestinians as self-destructive, demolishing their residences by themselves in a gesture of admitting their wrongdoing;
  • exonerate the Israeli occupation from accusations of eviction and demolition;
  • spare the Israeli occupation from complications, confrontations and embarrassments during demolition;
  • generate money (by fining people thousands of shekels);
  • conceal the true number of demolition cases;
  • make negative psychological effects on Palestinian families;
  • Get rid of the infamous stereotype known for centuries about the Jews that they destroy their own houses by themselves.



Prepared by
 The Land Research Center


Categories: Demolition