Thursday, October 01, 2020

Palestinian home in Jerusalem bulldozed

By Ruairi Henchy - February 13, 2015
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [House Demolition] [Human rights] [demolition] [Jerusalem]

All photos by Ruairi Henchy.

The home of the Al Abbasi family in Ein Al-Lozh neighborhood of occupied Jerusalem was demolished by the Israeli military on Tuesday in spite of a stay of execution from the Israeli courts.

The Israeli army arrived at around 8:30 am on Tuesday February 10 to destroy the 200 square meter house, constructed at a cost of NIS 700,000 (approx. USD $180,000). The house had been under a demolition order for a year, but the family had appealed the decision to the Israeli courts while they sought to get a building permit. The army decided not to wait for the court decision, suggesting that at times one arm of the Israeli occupation doesn’t know what the other is doing.

The Palestine Monitor spoke to Majd Ghaith, a photographer and filmmaker with the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan who tries to document home demolitions in occupied Jerusalem. “Actually it isn’t that unusual for them to carry out demolitions without the court’s permission,” he said. 

Majd explained that the Israelis came up with “a new tool” for carrying out demolitions in 2012. “We built a cultural center in Silwan and they came to demolish it a few days later. So we asked for a demolition order from the courts and they said, 'No we have a cleaning order, we don’t need court approval.’ They consider our center to be like rubbish, so they cleaned it up,” he sighed.

With regards to the demolition in Ein Al-Lozh, Majd said that the warning signs were there. “The police had scouted the area four or five times in recent weeks. The streets are very narrow so the bulldozer cannot enter at any time.” He explained that the Israeli police don’t normally enter the area or carry out patrols, but their presence in recent weeks indicated to the community that they were assessing when it was best to come back to the area with bulldozers.

The Palestine Monitor spoke with the Al Abbasi family in Ein Al-Lozh about the demolition. Mohammed Al Abbasi cut a forlorn figure as he pointed down at the ruins of his home from the porch of a relative’s house where his family have taken shelter. “We have women and children and they demolished our house… They demolish our homes but still we will stay. Allah will suffice me and he is the best guardian,” he said.

Separately, a small factory where six families were living was demolished on the Mount of Olives in occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday February 11. The Israeli army confiscated NIS 400,000 (approx. USD $103,000) worth of materials for fashioning gravestones, before demolishing the factory, the residences and the families’ animal shelters, according to Majd Ghaith from the Wadi Hilweh Information Center. 

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