November 14, 2010

Jerusalem center warns Israel planning to demolish more Palestinian homes


JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- An East Jerusalem community center active in reporting rights violations in the neighborhood of Silwan warned on Saturday of an impending wave of home demolitions to begin following the Eid Al-Adha holiday.

At least three homes had been "cleared for demolition" by Israeli officials, a statement from the center said, adding the most of the targeted buildings were in the Silwan area, where an Israeli city plan would see 25 percent of the homes in the neighborhood demolished for the creation of a national park.

The demolitions, the center said, could begin as early as 21 November, when the holiday marking Abram's dedication to god - Eid Al-Adha - comes to an end.

The families of Khalil Abbasi, Muhammad Ar-Razim, and Ayman Abu Rmeila, in Silwan and Beit Hanina, have all been served demolition notices, the center's statement said, adding that they had reason to believe the demolitions would be imminent.

According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, 20,000 homes in East Jerusalem have standing demolition orders against them, while thousands of others have "stop work" orders, mandating owners to cease construction and apply for a permit to build.

Occupied in 1967, East Jerusalem was illegally annexed to Israel in the 1980s, bringing more than 225,000 Palestinians under Israeli governance. Residents must apply to a municipal government they do not recognize for permits to build. Those who do apply face discrimination, with a small fraction of residents being granted permits.

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