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Palestinians warn of Israeli plans to destroy more houses in Jerusalem

Palestinian figures and institutions have warned against a new Israeli new scheme aimed at the destruction of dozens of Palestinian homes in Occupied Jerusalem, in the context Israel's plans to Judaize Jerusalem.

Hatem Abdel Qader, who is in charge of the issue of Jerusalem in the Fatah movement, said that there is an Israeli plot to demolish tens of houses east of the Isawiya town, which falls within the borders of Arab Jerusalem.


"The occupation's municipality and the Israeli Interior Ministry refused to organize the south-eastern area of the town, which is about 125 acres and includes more than 100 houses and residential buildings," he added, "during a field tour to a number of houses threatened to be demolished, stressing that all those buildings were "threatened to be demolished under the pretext having no permits."

Abdel Qader pointed out that some of the owners of those houses received verbal warnings from Israeli police and municipality officers, who asked them to evacuate their houses.  He noted that the occupation's municipality, with intervention from the Israeli army, "foiled all attempts to bring the region into the structural plan 11500, according to which vast areas are being organized, and would save dozens of homes threatened to be demolished." The structural plan is supervised by the Israeli Bimkom Association.

He added, "The Israeli army invoke security pretexts – mainly that the lands that the structural plan will organize and comprise are located near the tunnel, which they claim to be a sensitive security area," He also said "excluding this area from the structural plan means putting tens of Palestinian residential buildings at risk and the exhaustion of all land that can be built upon in Isawiya," and thus cordoning and isolating the town.

In the same context; the Research and Documentation Unit in the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights has affirmed that joint teams from the occupation's police and municipality carried out a wide-ranging raid on houses east of Isawiya – as they delivered new demolition notices to 10 houses, in a campaign that was described by residents to be the most wide-ranging in the town since these crews delivered demolition notices to tens of houses in Isawiya a few months ago.

Researchers at the Jerusalem Center added that the ongoing campaign in Isawiya comes after a similar campaign on Silwan – south of the Old City – where 17 demolition notices were handed to 17 houses in the Bostan neighborhood, al Yemen, and Eih El Loza. The 17 buildings included the Premises of the Old City Women Association in the Yemen area outside the fences of the Old City. Moreover, demolition notices were given to two houses in Wady El-Dam neighborhood in the town of Beith Hanaya; the municipality's staff photographed a number of houses in the area parallel to Street number 443 that divided Beith Hananya.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has demanded that the Israeli authorities stop house demolitions in Occupied Jerusalem, pointing out that the demolitions constitute a violation of international law. The organization affirmed, in a press release, that "The Israeli government is depriving Palestinians of the right to live in their own homes, in neighborhoods where many have lived for generations."

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa executive director for Human Rights Watch, said in the release, "Basing this cruel destruction of people's homes on unfairly applied building regulations is a thinly veiled legal façade to force them to move out."

The statement said: "In the week beginning October 27, 2009, Jerusalem municipal authorities used bulldozers to demolish five residences, while thousands more Palestinians are threatened with demolition of their homes. In the demolitions of the five buildings from October 27 to November 2, Israeli authorities displaced 57 Palestinian residents, including many children."

It pointed out that "Israel has forcibly evicted or demolished the homes of more than 600 Palestinians, half of them children, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem this year, according to the United Nations. Israel's imposition of its building laws on Palestinians in Occupied Territory violates international humanitarian law protections for private property. Its application of the building permits law is discriminatory and is an arbitrary and unlawful interference under international human rights law."

Source: Quds Press

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