JERUSALEM, November 12, 2017 (WAFA) – A Palestinian Sunday proceeded to demolish his own house in the town of Um Tuba, to the southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, because he couldn‘t afford the Jerusalem Municipality‘s high demolition fees.
The municipality informed Jamal Omar Abu Tair, the house owner, of the demolition order and said it was because he doesn’t have a construction permit. It also said that Abu Tair must pay for the demolition fees himself.
Unable to afford the unreasonably high fees, Abu Tair decided to demolish his house by himself.
Many Palestinian families like Abu Tair, are forced to demolish their homes to avoid the high costs of fighting the decision at court or even paying the municipality‘s crew fees.
For Palestinians in Jerusalem, construction permits are costly and very difficult to obtain. Many decide to build without a permit because they have no choice, even with the constant threat of demolition.
The Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ) found that the procedures to apply for Israeli-issued building permits were lengthy, sometimes lasting for several years, while the application costs could reach up to 300,000 shekels ($79,180).
As four out of five of Palestinians in East Jerusalem live under the poverty line, applying for costly building permits is nearly impossible.