Israel Municipality in Jerusalem forces Obeidat family to self-demolish their structures in Jabal AL-Mukabbir neighborhood

Israel Municipality in Jerusalem forces Obeidat family to self-demolish their structures in Jabal AL-Mukabbir neighborhood


Obeidat  family was forced on January 13, 2017 to self-demolish their structures founded in AL-Sal'a neighborhood as per implementing the order of Israel municipality's inspector. The municipality threatened the affected family that it will carry out the demolition and bill all costs to them in case they failed at implementing the order by themselves. The demolished structures belong the following:


Affected citizen




Zaki Khadr Obeidat




Majid Khadr Obeidat




Mohammad Khadr Obeidat




Amjad Khadr Obeidat






Source : Field observation- Department of Monitoring Israeli Violations- Land Research Center-2017


One of the affected people, Ramzi Obeidat, told Land Research Center the following:

" My brothers and I established some commercial agricultural structures four years ago on a parcel of land belonging to my father in the area of Jabal Al-Mukabbir in Jerusalem. On January 12, 2017, a force from Israel Police and the municipality's inspector arrived at the located and delivered me a demolition order on our structures within a 12 hour deadline. Otherwise the municipality's implements the order and all costs get billed to the owner. So my brothers and I decided to demolish the structures by ourselves to avoid fines municipality costs"

He also added: " My brothers and I used manual and electric equipments to implement the demolition, which lasted four days. On the fourth day, the municipality's inspector arrived at the location and ordered us to completely demolish all structures otherwise we receive violation fines" 

The demolition reached out the following structures:

  • A commercial store for construction materials: established on 350m2 plot
  • A storage (35m2) built by metal slaps:  three people worked there.
  • A carwash (250m2) and a 35m2 caravan: three people worked there as well.
  • A Caravan (18m2): leased by citizen Ahmad Sarkhi, who used the structure to sell cell phones .
  • A structures (30m2): it was used as snacks restaurants and was source of income for three young men
  • A storage (12m2): made of cement bricks
  • Horses stable

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.]

LRC field observers kept a close eye on the matter and recorded 72 cases where the owners had to demolish their property by themselves during the past five years making 477 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