Israeli Mayor of occupied Jerusalem, Nir Bakat, approved the demolition of two structures built by the United Nations (UN) as temporary emergency shelter for Palestinian families after Israel demolished their homes.
Israel strongly condemned the erection of the emergency shelters in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Israel accused the UN of overstepping its bounds and asserted that the trailer homes are illegal and should be demolished according to reports in the Israeli dailies Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post as well as the Palestine News Network.
Maxwell Gaylard, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territories defended the agencies actions as emergency humanitarian assistance provided when the Palestinian families turned to the UN agency for help.
Gaylard echoed the concerns of other human rights groups in the area and noted that Palestinians in East Jerusalem apply for housing permits but do not receive them. He added, “Where else could we put [the shelters]? We are helping the Palestinians on land that is theirs. Beit Hanina is occupied Palestinian territory.”
Other officials at the agency noted that they did not require a permit for building because in addition to being build on Palestinian land, they are only an emergency solution, are not connected to utilities, and do not have foundations.
An Israeli spokeswoman said in a statement, “Israel is not a banana republic, but a state of law and order. The UN can help to advance the residents’ quality of life in keeping with the law and we hope the construction violation at the site is not in accordance with the UN.”
The shelters have the UN agency’s logo on them along with the flags of the donor countries of Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Spain, The Netherlands and Ireland. Israeli officials claimed that the flags were only there to embarrass Israel in these countries as it destroys their donations.
If Israel is embarrassed by people outside of its borders watching as they demolish emergency housing for families, perhaps they should reassess their decision to do so.
- Israel destroys Palestinian commercial stores in Beit Hanina (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israel to Annex More of East Jerusalem (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- New Regulation Bars Palestinians and Immigrants from Using Israeli Courts (alethonews.wordpress.com)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Tuesday demolished a Palestinian building of six commercial stores in Beit Hanina town east of occupied Jerusalem at the pretext of unlicensed construction.
Jerusalemite citizens Taleb Idris and Osama Malhi said the IOA had refused to give them a license for the building and ordered them along with the other storekeepers to have their stores knocked down by next July 15, but the Israeli bulldozers surprisingly came on Tuesday to carry out the demolition.
Idris noted that about 22 Jerusalemite families would suffer after their only means of livelihood were destroyed.
“The Zionist authorities aim to throw us out of Jerusalem, and I can find no other explanation why they violated the decision to delay the demolition and did not give us a chance to obtain a license for the building, especially after we have paid all the fines imposed on us by the municipality,” Idris stated on behalf of his fellow storekeepers.
In a related context, the Jerusalem center for social and economic rights warned that Israel intends to carry out a large-scale demolition campaign, in cooperation with the civil unit of its army, throughout the Palestinian neighborhoods and towns of Jerusalem.
The center said in a report that the demolition process that happened on Tuesday in Sala neighborhood in Al-Makbar Mount was the beginning of this campaign.
- Residency Of 240,000 Palestinians Revoked By Israel Since 1967 (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Eviction in Beit Hanina: New site of East Jerusalem settlement (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
Israeli soldiers and policemen displaced resident Khaled An-Natsha and his family from their home in Al-Ashqariyya area, in Beit Hanina, north of Israeli controlled East Jerusalem. The eviction came following a court order that granted Israeli settlers ownership over the property.
The Palestinian News and Info Agency, WAFA, reported that the soldiers also detained An-Natsha after “arguing with the soldiers”.
The Israeli District Court in Jerusalem previously issued an eviction notice ordering An-Natsha to vacate the property, claiming that the land on which his home is built belonged to a Jewish man since 1936.
Earlier this month, resident Mohammad Al-Joulani, also in Al-Ashqariyya, received a court ruling ordering him to leave his home, and informing him that the property will be demolished by April 22. Israel claims that the home was illegally constructed.
Residents of Al-Ashqariyya stated that Israeli soldiers and settlers “are working hand in hand in order to occupy a large number of Palestinian homes and property in different parts of Israeli controlled East Jerusalem in order to build and expand Jewish-only settlements”.
The Natsha and Joulani families stated that they have been under constant harassment by Israeli soldiers and settlers over several years, and repeatedly forced to pay exaggerated fines imposed by the Jerusalem Municipality.
The settlers – heavily financed by wealthy Jewish individuals, including Jewish-American Billionaire, Erving Moscovitch – are planning to build 60 units in the place of An-Natsha’s home and its surrounding land, with the intent to create a new settlement in the heart of the Al-Ashqariyya Palestinian neighborhood.
Home demolitions, the ongoing takeover of Palestinian homes in Israeli controlled East Jerusalem, and the daily invasions and attacks carried out by settlers and soldiers in the West Bank contributed to the end of the direct peace talks between the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank with Tel Aviv.
- Palestinian Family loses property ownership case in Israeli court (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Thomas Friedman Exposes Peace Process as a Fraud and Himself a Con Man (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israeli settlers storm into Palestinian home, occupy residence (alethonews.wordpress.com)