Beit Yehonatan in east Jerusalem
Photo: Noam Moscowitz

Measurements taken at Beit Yehonatan

Municipal inspectors take measurements at Jewish building in east Jerusalem neighborhood, apparently ahead of execution of eviction, enclosure orders

Jerusalem municipal inspectors accompanied by security forces took measurements in Beit Yehonatan in east Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood Tuesday morning.


The building's residents were told the inspectors were setting the ground for the execution of outstanding eviction and enclosure orders issued against it.


The residents said the inspectors refused to answer their questions or to present them with the relevant orders. The residents also said the inspectors treated them disrespectfully.


Beit Yehonatan is a seven-story building that was constructed without a permit in 2004, and houses Jewish residents affiliated with the Ateret Cohanim movement.


Despite the many appeals, the courts ruled that the enclosure and eviction orders against the building should be executed.


However, several weeks ago, the distribution of eviction orders to the structure's residents was called off, and the municipality began to work on a plan to include the building in the District Planning and Construction Committee's municipal plan, which would retroactively legalize the building.

Inspectors and police at Beit Yehonatan on Tuesday


Meanwhile, two other plans aimed at blocking the execution of the court order are in the works: The residents themselves appealed to State Prosecutor Moshe Lador with a request to authorize five out of the building's seven floors, and said they would demolish the top two.


Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is also working on a general plan to "whitewash" houses that were built illegally in east Jerusalem, including Jewish and Arab buildings. The mayor's conduct in the matter was harshly criticized by the city's legal counsel, Yossi Havilio, who said the city was operating against the law.


One of the building's occupants said on Tuesday, "In recent months there have been negotiations with the Jerusalem Municipality and its head, who wishes to advance a plant to tackle the unorganized construction in the King's Garden and Silwan.


"The proposal that was put before the city's legal counsel and the attorney general spoke of a compromise, according to which part of the building will be sealed and demolished, and the rest would be legalized as part of a general plan to approve the illegal construction in the neighborhood, for Jews and Arabs alike. The occupants of Beit Yehonatan are full residents of Jerusalem who wish to live in peace with their neighbors and uphold a normative lifestyle."


פרסום ראשון: 04.27.10, 11:34
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