A Palestinian family from the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem were forced on Wednesday to destroy their home with their own hands, in order to avoid punishment from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality.
Nabih al-Basti and his family reportedly used “light tools” to demolish the house that he built 19 years ago.
Al-Basti, 53, told Ma’an that “one of the most difficult moments is for someone to demolish their own house - memories and dreams are demolished with the home.”
He added that over the course of the 19 years that him and his family had lived in the 60 square meter apartment, which sat on the third floor of a building, he had paid “thousands of shekels to maintain it.”
The Israeli municipality reportedly issued several demolition orders and gave al-Basti until September 20, 2016 to demolish his house.
Al-Basti said that during the last court session that took place in June, the municipality threatened to place him under house arrest, and impose additional fines on top of the standard demolition fine that Palestinians are forced to pay the Municipality if they do not destroy the home themselves, if he did not destroy his home within the given deadline.
An Israeli Jerusalem Municipality spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.