JERUSALEM, Saturday, February 11, 2023 (WAFA) – A Palestinian resident of Silwan neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem was forced today to self-demolish his own house after receiving a demolition order from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem citing unpermitted construction as a pretext.
Witnesses told WAFA that Mohammad Aawar, owner of the house, proceeded to demolish his house to avoid paying exorbitant fees to the Israeli municipality in the event that its crews carry out the demolition.
Aawar also said he had no choice but to demolish the house himself because failure to do so before February 15 will be a pretext for the Israeli occupation authorities to arrest him. He said he was forced to rent another house in the city to provide shelter for his family.
Under the pretext of building without a permit, which is rarely granted to Palestinians in the occupied city, the Israeli municipality has been demolishing or forcing Palestinians to demolish their own houses as part of a policy aimed to restrict Palestinian expansion and growth in occupied Jerusalem.
At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem for Jews with the goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city.
Palestinians in East Jerusalem, which is part of the internationally recognized Palestinian Territory that has been subject to Israeli military occupation since 1967, say they are discriminated against in all aspects of life including housing, employment and services, and are unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel's separation wall.