+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

WATCH: This is what it looks like when Israel demolishes your home

Israeli authorities demolish homes, car repair shops, and businesses in four different East Jerusalem neighborhoods — in a single day.

By Eli Bitan

Hundreds of Israeli soldiers, police officers, and municipal inspectors made their way to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on Tuesday mornin, to demolish two large apartment buildings, an agricultural business, and a store.

Muhammad Abu Hummus, a resident of Issawiya and a member of the neighborhood’s popular committee, witnessed the demolitions. “Hundreds of soldiers arrived at 4 a.m. and evacuated the building. This is a building that has been standing for 10 years, and over the past few years has been negotiating with the Jerusalem municipality to retroactively legalize it. That didn’t work. At 6 a.m. they began demolition two buildings and a few stores.”

According to Abu Hummus, they left the ruins of the building on the road and around the neighborhood. “When I approached them and asked them to debris, they responded that ‘anyone who builds illegally should worry about cleaning up.’

Israel regularly demolishes homes built in East Jerusalem by Palestinians without a permit, yet approves less than two percent of all requests for building permits.

Israeli security forces carried out simultaneous demolitions in three other Palestinian neighborhoods. According to Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem, the authorities demolished a home in Silwan, which housed eight people, including six minors. In Beit Hanina, they demolished a car sale lot, and in Jabal Mukaber security forces demolished a tire repair shop.

According to B’Tselem, Tuesday’s demolitions are part of a general incline. Sine the beginning of 2017, 62 homes have been demolished in East Jerusalem, including six homes that were demolished by their owners, so as not to pay fines and the cost of the demolition. Over 115 people, including 46 minors, have been left homeless. Authorities have also demolished over 80 structures, including fences, storerooms, agricultural structures, businesses, a mosque, and more.

Eli Bitan is a journalist in the ultra-Orthodox press in Israel and a blogger on Local Call, where this post was first published in Hebrew. Read it here.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      Everywhere in the world it is forbidden to build without authorization.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        But NOT everywhere in the world is it forbidden to have a permit to build because you are of a certain race or ethnicity. Only in apartheid states like Israel is this the case. I don’t know what reflects more poorly on you, Halevy, that you don’t get this or that you get it very well but think it just fine.

        Reply to Comment