A Palestinian father was forced to demolish his own home in occupied East Jerusalem, as well as that of his daughter, as Israeli authorities maintain their discriminatory housing policies in the city.
Mustafa Subah, an automobile mechanic, told his story to Haaretz reporters “on the ruins of his home”. A few weeks previously, a 15-year legal battle that cost him around 400,000 shekels ($110,220) came to an end when “he was compelled to demolish his and his daughter’s homes with his own hands”.
His daughter Zinab, along with her husband and three children, have now moved into “cramped conditions in the home of her mother-in-law”. Mustafa, meanwhile, along with his wife and three children who remain at home, are “squeezed into the two rooms of the original structure, waiting in dread to hear whether they will have to raze that as well”.
According to the Haaretz article, 13 homes in occupied East Jerusalem “have been completely demolished and two others partially destroyed since the beginning of the year – all of them by the do-it-yourself method”. By comparison, “in all of 2018, only ten homes were demolished this way”.
The report notes that while “the Palestinian population of [Jerusalem] has increased fivefold since the start of the occupation in 1967…not one new neighbourhood has been built for them in a city…where legions of new neighbourhoods have been built for Jews.”
“The resident can choose between doing the wrecking himself or reimbursing the city for the service, at a cost that can range between 80,000 and 130,000 shekels ($22,000-$36,000).”
The Haaretz article described the situation as “the epitome of the occupation and the epitome of apartheid”.