EAST JERUSALEM - By year end 1,000 Palestinians will find themselves homeless. The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights released information detailing the demolition orders of 150 homes in 12 Jerusalem neighborhoods. This number excludes 125 apartments previously slated for demolition.
The JCSER's report revealed that the demolition orders were put into place by previous Israeli mayor Uri Luplianski and has been renewed by current mayor Nir Barkat. Jerusalem neighborhoods being targeted are: Beit Hanina, Shu 'Fat, Ashqariyeh, Nuseiben Housing Project, Silwan, Thuri, Jabal al- Mukaber, Sur Baber, Mount of Olives, al- Zu'ayem, Isawieh and Ras Khamis.Four homes have been demolished in the past week. Two homes in Beit Hanina were destroyed on October 12 and two homes were destroyed on October 27 in Sur Bahir.
The Israeli demolition of homes has caused controversy in recent years. American activist, Rachel Corrie, was killed by a demolition bulldozer in 2003 while trying to protect a family home. Confrontations between military personnel and Palestinian homeowners often take place. The use of tear gas, physical force, and detainment are often results from these confrontations. Recently Jewish activist, Ezra Nawi, was detained while attempting to block the demolision of a home in South Hebrom. He was later charged with assaulting israeli military personnel, despite video tape evidence presented to the court contrary to IDF soldier testimony. He was sentenced to one month in prison earlier this month.
Ismail Abu Arjan - resident of Jerusalem, stated, "We face an impossible situation. Israel says homes are built without permit. Why is a permit required in the West Bank anyway? When permits are applied for, they are denied. Then two or three years later, bulldozers show up. Usually they show up to make room to build Israeli settlements."
It is not clear if any of the multiple settlement orders approved this year directly affect the renewed demolition orders. JSECR estimates that 2,000 housing units per year are necessary to Palestinian population growth. The Israeli Municipality issues only 18 permits in the last year and once one license. The license issued was for a retaining wall at a cemetery.