A report issued by the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights in collaboration with Europeans for Al-Quds has revealed that one-third of all Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem are at risk of demolition by the Israelis because they do not have “building permits”, while illegal settlements continue to expand. The Israel-run Finance Committee of the Jerusalem City Council approved, in late August, a new budget that included 1,500 units for Israeli settlers in the occupied city. In the same month, bulldozers levelled Palestinian land in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Al-Tur to make way for the construction of an “Israeli national park”.
Israel’s demographic war against Palestinians is ongoing. The occupation authorities have allocated just 13 per cent of the land in East Jerusalem for Palestinian construction. “At least 93,100 Palestinian residents are at risk of displacement because they live in structures built without a permit,” the report states.
Euro-Mid noted that according to the UN poverty levels in occupied Jerusalem rose from 64 per cent in 2006 to 78 per cent in 2012. “This deep poverty,” the report states, “is rooted in the high level of unemployment that affects 40 per cent of Palestinian men and 85 per cent of Palestinian women in Jerusalem.”
Highlighting the discrepancy between the wages of Palestinians and those of their Israeli counterparts, the report says that despite facing the same living costs as Israelis, the average monthly wage for East Jerusalem Palestinians working in Israel and its settlements is less than half the average monthly wage in Israel.
Moreover, the Israeli occupation authorities have closed more than 30 institutions that used to serve as the main providers of public services for Palestinians in Jerusalem. Israel has ignored the UN’s repeated calls for them to be re-opened.