Demolished east Jerusalem home (Archives)
Photo: AFP

UN: 60,000 Palestinians risk losing homes in east Jerusalem

If implemented, 1,500 demolition orders will leave about 9,000 Palestinians in capital homeless, world body's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs claims

At least 60,000 of the 225,000 Palestinians in annexed east Jerusalem risk having their homes demolished by the Israeli authorities because they were built without permits, a UN agency said Friday.


To date approximately 1,500 demolition orders have been issued in east Jerusalem, which if implemented would leave about 9,000 people homeless, almost half of them children, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, said in a report.


Palestinians say the demolitions are an attempt to pushing them out of the city, but municipal authorities insist they simply follow the law and raze houses built without the necessary permits.


OCHA said that at least 28% of Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem have been built without the Israeli permits, which residents say are nearly impossible to obtain.


"As a result, at least 60,000 out of 225,000 Palestinians in east Jerusalem are at risk of having their homes demolished by the Israeli authorities," OCHA said.


It said planners have earmarked only 13% of annexed east Jerusalem for Palestinian construction, while one third has been expropriated for settlement housing projects. About 200,000 Israelis live in east Jerusalem.


Israel annexed east Jerusalem after capturing the city in the Six Day War of 1967, declaring the city its "eternal, undivided capital."


Palestinians want to make east Jerusalem the capital of their state. 


פרסום ראשון: 05.01.09, 12:01
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