An international human rights organisation has revealed that one-third of the Palestinian-owned houses in Jerusalem face demolition under the pretext that applications for building permits were incomplete. This, claims Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights, is a way for the Israeli authorities to continue their demographic war against Palestinians in the Holy City. Israel gives Jerusalemite Palestinians the right to use just 13 per cent of the area of occupied East Jerusalem to meet the needs of their growing population.
A report from Euro-Mid shed some light on the widespread Israeli settlement programme in Jerusalem. It mentioned that the financial committee of the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality decided to support 1,500 new settlement units in the city at the end of August. The human rights group also pointed out that Israel’s bulldozers are still razing Palestinian homes in Al-Tour neighbourhood because the authorities plan to set up the “National Israeli Park”.
According to the UN, poverty is getting worse among Palestinians in Jerusalem. Euro-Mid noted that the unemployment rate rose to 78 per cent in 2012 compared with 64 per cent in 2006. More than 40 per cent of Palestinian Jerusalemites now live below the official poverty line; one of the reasons is the disparity in wage rates between Israeli and Palestinian labourers.
Euro-Mid has called upon Israel to stop its frenzy of settlement construction in the occupied territories and to protect Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem, as the potential capital of a Palestinian state.