Al-Issawiya Demolition. Image Credit: PNN
Following a decrease in Palestinian demolitions by Israeli forces during the holy month of Ramadan, the month of July marked a return to the standard dozens of Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes.
Building permits are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain from Israeli authorities and at least third of Palestinian buildings do not have a permit. On July 1st a Palestinian family in the neighbourhood of Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem were forced to demolish their own home in order to avoid being charged thousands of pounds for the cost of the demolition on the pretext of a lack of a building permit. A further demolition took place in Issawiya on July 11th, when a four storey home under construction was demolished. The demolition took place despite the building’s owner having a scheduled meeting with Israeli authorities to postpone the demolition. Demolitions continued in occupied East Jerusalem in the neighbourhood of Silwan, where demolitions took place on the 4th and 12th of the month, comprising of three houses in total. These included the second demolition of the home of Salih Shweiki, who in February was forced to demolish his own home. Left with no alternative home for his family, Shweiki rebuilt the house which was demolished again this month. The demolitions led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces, where one Palestinian youth was injured. Further demolitions took place on July 12th in the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Jabal al Mukabbir and Wadi Abu Hindi, with one family home demolished in each neighbourhood. A further demolition took place in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Zaayyem on July 17th, where one home was demolished. In total, 17 homes were demolished in East Jerusalem during this time period, affecting the lives and livelihoods of countless of Palestinians.
Another area hard hit by demolition this month has been the Negev/Naqab desert, where around 180,000 Bedouin Arabs live. Around half of them live in villages ‘unrecognised’ by the Israeli government, which means they are not connected to the electricity or water grid, and are under a constant threat of demolitions. On July 5th, the unrecognised Bedouin village of Al-Araqib was demolished for the 115th time since 2010. A further 3 demolitions took place in the Negev on the same day, in the Bedouin city of Rahat a home was demolished, a home, chicken coop and water container were destroyed near Segev Shalom, and near the village of Kseife, a Beduoin man was forced to demolish his own home in order to avoid demolition charges. Further demolitions took place in the Beduoin village of Wadi al-Na’am where on July 12th a protest tent was destroyed, and on July 20th a home belonging to an orphaned family was demolished. A further two demolitions took place in the Negev on July 20th, one home was demolished the Bedouin city of Hura, and another home was demolished in Wadi Ghawin near Mulda. A final demolition took place on July 20th in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, near the village of Qalandiya where one demolition took place.