Yesterday, 13.7.10, the Jerusalem municipality demolished 6 houses in East Jerusalem claiming they were built illegaly, ignoring the fact the municipality makes it impossible for Palestinians to obtain permits in order to build legally.
Three structures under construction and nearing completion were demolished in Isawiya, another inhabited house was demolished in the neighbourhood of Beit Hanina and two more inhabited houses were demolished in Jabal Mukkaber.
The house in Beit Hanina, owned by the Rajabi family, was demolished once before in 2008 and Icahd assisted the family to rebuild that same year. Yesterday four children of the Rajabi family and their two parents lost their home for the second time in less than 2 years.
More than 20 people, including 10 children, were forcibly displaced from the two homes demolished in Jabal Mukkaber.
These demolitions come after an unofficial 6 month halt to home demolitions in East Jerusalem, although within that period several uninhabited Palestinian-owned structures were nevertheless demolished. The suspension of demolitions came as a result of pressure from the international community, particularly from the US administration which has repeatedly critised the practice. Since Netenyahu’s return from his most recent visit to the US, his government has declared new building plans for East Jerusalem settlements and has now recommenced home demolitions in Palestinian neighbourhoods. Both actions are a clear declaration that the Government of Israel is not interested in good faith negotiations. Instead, the government and settlers continue creating facts on the ground intended to judaize East Jerusalem and strengthen Israeli sovereignty over it, thereby preventing the possibility for a future division of the city in which East Jerusalem could form the capital of a Palestinian State.