Home demolitions in East Jerusalem continue

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2006 file photo taken in East Jerusalem
Image: Daniel Maleck Lewy.

Despite international calls for an end to home demolitions in East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities tore down five Palestinian homes yesterday; claiming they were built illegally. These home demolitions come after repeated calls from the UN and international community to stop settler activity and home demolitions.

The five demolitions took place early morning. Israeli authorities said the homes lacked a permit and therefore were built illegally. Palestinians claim it is nearly impossible to obtain a permit for their homes from the Israeli authorities who rule the area. Palestinians tried to repel the Israeli authorities with rocks but were summarily dispersed and the demolitions went ahead as planned.

The UN reports that 1,500 demolition orders are currently pending in Israeli courts. At least 600 Palestinians have been displaced from their homes in East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year.

Since annexing the city in 1967 Israeli authorities have authorized the demolition of thousands of Palestinian homes in an effort to create a majority Jewish population in Jerusalem. "It has been Israeli policy to try to guarantee a Jewish majority and generate Jewish hegemony in Jerusalem since 1967," said Dr. Roby Nathanson, Director of Israel's Macro Center for Political Economics. "Israel has annexed huge parts of Jerusalem, enlarged the boundaries of the municipality, taken lots of land in the eastern part of the city and built more than 50,000 housing units on this land exclusively for Jews."

However, Palestinians still hope to make Jerusalem the capital of their future state.