Israel demolishes illegally built Arab home in east Jerusalem neighborhood

Despite the emotionally-charged atmosphere in Silwan, police said no violence took place.

By
May 27, 2015 17:43
1 minute read.
Temple Mount

A view of al-Aksa mosque on the Temple Mount from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Government bulldozers demolished an illegally constructed Arab home in Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood, adjacent to the Old City, on Wednesday.

According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, based in Silwan, IDF soldiers arrived during the early morning hours and cordoned off the area surrounding the home, belonging to the Nassar family, before razing it.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


While a member of the family conceded that construction of the 80-sq.m. residence commenced three months ago without a building permit from the Jerusalem Municipality, he claimed that no prior warning of the imminent destruction was issued by the municipality, the center reported.

An official from city hall denied the allegation.

Police said that despite the emotionally charged atmosphere, no violence took place.

One week earlier, three illegally built shops and a house under construction were also demolished in Silwan by government bulldozers.

Following last week’s demolitions, Meretz City Councilman Dr. Meir Margalit, who holds the east Jerusalem portfolio in the municipality, described the move as heavy-handed and poorly timed.



“In this moment in Jerusalem, when the tension is so high, and when the international community is focusing their attention on what’s going on in the city, it’s a double mistake,” he said. “On an international level, we must do everything we can in order to calm the situation in the city, and this will not help.”

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has repeatedly stated that the standard for obtaining building permits is uniform throughout the capital, and that illegally built Jewish structures in Jerusalem are also routinely demolished.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, since the beginning of the year, the government has demolished 197 illegally built Arab homes in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Wednesday’s demolition comes three weeks after tensions flared in Silwan following the acquisition of several apartments in a former Yemenite synagogue by Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing organization that purchases properties for Jews in Arab neighborhoods.

Ateret Cohanim said ownership of most of the contested property, which Arabs seized during Arab rioting in the ’30s, was recently awarded to the NGO by the court following a protracted legal battle with its previous Arab residents.

Related Content

Israelis run for shelter as a siren sounds during a rocket attack at the southern city of Sderot Jul
August 20, 2018
Lull in violence provides little relief for Gaza border residents

By TAMARA ZIEVE