Middle East Monitor / December 28, 2021
The Israeli occupation authorities demolished on Tuesday a Palestinian-owned three-story house in Al-Isawiyyeh neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem displacing 23 people, local news agencies reported.
Owner of the house, Nidal Yassin Mustafa, said that the municipality staff protected by the Israeli occupation police surrounded the area where the building is located and demolished the building under the pretext it had been built without a permit.
Nidal Mustafa said 23 people had lived inside this house, noting that all of them have become homeless as they were left in the street.
Speaking to Safa news agency, Nidal said that the family received the first note asking them to a pay fine of NIS90,000 ($29,000) seven years ago.
He said his family paid the fine, but the municipality asked them to pay a new fine worth NIS140,000 ($45,000). “We have paid NIS40,000 ($13,000),” he said.
Nidal also said that his family had paid tens of thousands of shekels for plans, maps and other staff in order to obtain a building license, but they failed.
Wafa news agency says that Palestinians are forced to build on their lands in occupied Jerusalem without a permit because getting one is almost impossible.
The Israeli occupation has been trying to keep the Palestinian presence in the city to a minimum in order to change the demographic balance in favour of the Jewish population.
The family said after losing all attempts to save the house, they appealed to the Israeli municipality to demolish the building themselves in order to avoid the high fees paid to the municipality, but the municipality surprised them and demolished the house.