Bulldozers demolish illegally constructed Arab east Jerusalem home

According to multiple Arab media reports, the Silwan residence, located near the Old City, was inhabited for approximately one year by a now displaced family of 14, including seven children.

February 10, 2015 22:43
1 minute read.
 Silwan neighborhood

East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood, October 21. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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A east Jerusalem home, built without a permit from the municipality, was demolished by army bulldozers on Tuesday morning, marking the third illegally constructed Arab residence to be destroyed in the capital since January.

According to Arab media reports, the Silwan residence, located near the Old City, was inhabited for approximately one year by a now displaced family of 14, including seven children.

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The home’s owner, Ahmad Abbasi, claimed he spent NIS 700,000 constructing the almost 200-sq.m. property after repeatedly being denied a building permit by the municipality, the Ma’an News Agency reported.

Abbasi said after his family moved in he again tried to obtain a permit, without success.

In a statement, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan said the family did not receive the minimum 24-hour advance notice when the home was cordoned off by soldiers early on Tuesday morning as four bulldozers, accompanied by IDF and police vehicles, leveled the property.

The center added that the family was not permitted to remove its belongings.

Despite claiming that his home was destroyed without prior notice, Abbasi told Arab media that Israeli officials had issued him an administrative order for its destruction while he was building the residence, but that the order was postponed when he filed a lawsuit against the city council.

Abbasi said that a hearing over the fate of his home was scheduled for next week.

In a statement, the municipality said the Jerusalem District Court had rejected Abbasi’s petition to delay the demolition after he was issued a stop work order while constructing it.

“This one-story, 180 sq. m. building was built without a permit, illegally and in open view,” the statement read.

“The Jerusalem Municipality issued a stop work order for the building in question, applications were filed in response that were examined by two separate courts, and both courts rejected the petitioner’s requests.”

The municipality has repeatedly stated that all illegally built structures throughout the city, including in Jewish neighborhoods, are demolished regardless of whether the owner is Jewish or Arab.

Since the beginning of the year, three Arab homes, including in Shuafat and Isawiya, have been destroyed for being built without a permit.

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