(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Jerusalem Municipality is moving forward with court orders to demolish 19
illegally constructed buildings in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiya,
and will begin carrying out the demolitions as early as Sunday, an attorney who
represents the buildings’ owners told The Jerusalem Post on
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Attorney Sami Ersheid, who represents the 19 original owners
of the buildings, said that each structure is home to “at least three or four
families – children of the original owners – who make up more than 60 families
“Based on the court’s rulings, the municipality is planning
to start the demolitions on the first of August,” he told The Post.
Ersheid said he had already filed an appeal with the Jerusalem
Magistrate’s Court, where proceedings have been unfolding for a
“We’ve asked for a one-year delay in order to advance an
alternative plan for the neighborhood,” Ersheid said.
“In fact, there was
already an alternative plan that was broached for the area, which would have
solved the legal issues there and prevented the buildings from being
demolished,” he said. “It was considered by a number of authorities, including
the Interior Ministry, but in the end, the plan was not accepted.
the court-ordered demolitions are now being advanced.”
declined to comment on the demolitions so as not to give details of impending
Nonetheless, Stephen Miller, a spokesman for Mayor Nir
Barkat, responded on the general issue of demolitions in the
“The Municipality of Jerusalem works to uphold the rule of law
throughout Jerusalem, and when a court decides that an illegal structure in the
city must be demolished, the owner of the structure should expect the
implementation of the rule of law,” Miller said.
“The Municipality of
Jerusalem implements structural demolitions throughout the city, in cooperation
with the Israel Police and in coordination with the relevant government
personnel. For security concerns, no comment is made on the process of specific
structural demolitions until after they are completed,” he said.