Municipality slams BBC demolition report

Show's reporter claimed Jerusalem Municipality has "special budget" for demolishing illegal homes.

January 21, 2010 17:42
1 minute read.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (Ariel Jerozolimski - f

nir barkat 58. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

"The amount of demolitions carried out by the Jerusalem Municipality every year is determined solely by the number of illegally constructed buildings erected by those residents who flouted the law," the Jerusalem Municipality said Thursday afternoon in response to a show aired on the BBC news network which claimed the municipality allocates a special budget for house demolitions.

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In the show, aired on Monday, BBC's Jane Corbin claimed that "Demolitions have been increasing in recent days, and in fact, we've got hold of a list that shows there's another 40 to go before the end of the year. That's because the municipal government has a budget that it has to use up for demolitions."

The municipality said in a statement the number of demolitions conducted in eastern Jerusalem actually decreased in 2009 - from 86 in 2008 to 65 in 2009, a 25% decrease.

It said also that there was simply no connection between the annual budget of the municipality and the number of demolitions conducted.

The municipality called Corbin's report "completely and utterly false" and a "distasteful distortion of reality."

The municipality also expressed doubt whether the reporter really had in her possession a list of planned house demolitions, saying "it would be prudent to ask Ms. Corbin what happened to her alleged list of 40 planned demolitions since her filming in late 2009. You'll easily find yet another one of her distasteful distortions."

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