JERUSALEM, Saturday, January 26, 2019 (WAFA) – A Palestinian resident to Silwan, a neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, demolished on Saturday two rooms in his home after he received a warning from the West Jerusalem Israeli municipality that if he does not demolish the rooms on his own, the municipality would destroy them and force him to pay exorbitant costs, according to the Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center.
Mohammad Samir Abbasi started the demolition on Friday night of the two rooms - a bedroom and a living room 50-square-meters in area - which he added to his house two and a half years ago. The rooms were built of reinforced metal sheets.
He said, according to the information center, that he decided to demolish the rooms by himself after the municipality has issued the demolition order and threatened him to pay all costs if the municipality carries out the demolition.
Last week, another resident of Silwan, Jamil Masalmeh, had to also demolish with his own hands his 55-square-meter house after the municipality had accused him of building it without permit, displacing as a result three people.
Israeli building permits for Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem are rare, and they are even more rare in areas close to the Old City, such as Silwan, which falls right outside the Old City’s southern wall.
Israel, and for demographic and political reasons in a policy implemented right after its occupation of the city in June 1967, is trying to keep Palestinians in the occupied section to a bare minimum while multiplying the number of Jewish Israelis in it by building thousands of housing units in multiple settlements built on expropriated Palestinian land and facilitating Jewish construction in Palestinian neighborhoods such as Silwan and the Old City.