Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Demolitions on rise in Jerusalem with 95% of Palestinian building applications refused


Israel is continuing with its policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem on the pretext that the properties do not have official permits. In at least one case, the home owner was forced to demolish his home himself; failure to do so would have landed the man with demolition by the authorities and a heavy fine. A staggering 95 percent of building permit applications submitted by Palestinians are refused by the Israeli authorities.

Jerusalem resident Ahmed Abdul Rahim Al-Bilbeisi told Quds Press that staff from the Israeli occupation municipality handed him an order to stop working on his house which, it was claimed, is built on "unauthorized" ground. The local court then issued an order to demolish the house located in Yakoute El-Hamawi Street, in the Gouze Valley. Mr Al-Bilbeisi said that he had to demolish his house with his own hands in order to avoid a fine of 50,000 shekels (around £8,500) which the court said it would impose if he didn’t abide by the demolition order. In addition, he would have had to pay for the authorities to demolish his home. He was given until the 25th October to fulfil the court order.

According to Al-Bilbeisi, he built his house in 2008 for $25,000 even though the Israelis refused his application for a building permit simply because his old home was too small for his growing family. more