JERUSALEM, October 22, 2017 (WAFA) – Israeli forces on Sunday notified a number of Palestinians from Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, about their intention to demolish their homes, according to local sources.
WAFA correspondent said staff from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem backed by a police escort broke into Silwan and handed over notices to a number of local citizens informing them about the municipality’s intent to demolish their homes, under the pretext of construction without a permit.
Over the years, the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem has demolished hundreds of Palestinian-owned homes in the city for lack of a construction permit. The municipality claims that compared to the Jewish population, it receives a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities.
However, testimonies collected by 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, leading to only seven percent of Jerusalem building permits being allocated to Palestinian neighborhoods.