Demolition in east Jerusalem (archives)
Photo: AP
East Jerusalem demolitions resume
After two-month moratorium, Civil Administration razes three illegal structures in Issawiya; more structures slated for demolition in Beit Hanina. Meretz: US not stupid, will eventually find out demolished structures were residential

The Jerusalem Municipality resumed on Monday the demolition of homes in the eastern part of the capital after a two-month moratorium.


Civil Administration inspectors demolished three unpopulated residential buildings which had not yet been completed in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya. The demolition took place in coordination with the police and relevant government bodies.


The demolitions went smoothly, without any disturbances.


Since the beginning of the year the City of Jerusalem has refrained from razing populated structures in east Jerusalem due to heavy diplomatic pressure, which peaked following the approval of additional construction in the Jewish neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo during US Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the region.


Two of the demolished structures were erected without a permit near the road connecting Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim. The third structure was also built illegally between two main roads.


Later Tuesday, Civil Administration inspectors accompanied by large police forces arrived at the Palestinian village of Beit Hanina to raze a number of structures in accordance with a court order.


The City of Jerusalem has implemented only seven demolition orders in east Jerusalem since the beginning of the year. Sixty-five such orders were implemented in 2009.


The Jerusalem Municipality said it "implements court orders in both east and west Jerusalem in accordance with the yearly work plan."


Jerusalem city council member Meir Margalit (Meretz) said, "One of the demolished structures in Issawiya was not completed, but the Abu Rumayla family was already living in it. The City insists that it is demolishing 'structures' and not 'homes' and claims these demolitions are coordinated with the Prime Minister's Office. In their naiveté, the city officials think the Americans are stupid and will not eventually find out that these structures are designated for residential purposes."


On Monday the Jerusalem district planning and construction committee approved the construction of 32 housing units in the eastern neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev, on land captured by Israel in 1967.


The 32 units are just a small part of the project, which includes 220 homes to be built near the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Hizma. The committee is set to approve another 48 units next week.


 new comment
See all talkbacks "East Jerusalem demolitions resume"
This will delete your current comment