Jerusalem Municipality's legal advisor, Attorney Yossi Havilio, sent a scathing letter to Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen in which he criticized police conduct in enforcing building orders in east Jerusalem.
"How are you demolishing buildings in the east of the city and not enforcing the order on Beit Yehonatan," he wondered.
In the letter, the legal advisor complained of the police's disregard of the injunction issued to evacuate Beit Yehonatan residents and seal off the building on the backdrop of the demolition work that was renewed Tuesday in Beuit Hanina and Issawiya, both neighborhoods in east Jerusalem.
"Since the order was issued once and for all to evacuate and seal off after continual legal discussions in July 2008, two years have passed and the order has not been carried out," Havilio wrote the police commissioner.
According to him, contrary to the Beit Yehonatan order, "Dozens of enforcement orders have been carried out in Jerusalem throughout the city, including east Jerusalem, with the police's help. Just today, according to information given to me, a number of illegal buildings were demolished in the east of the city," he wrote, referring to the demolitions in Beit Hanina and Issawiya.
Havilio claimed that members of the city's building oversight board have already made the necessary preparations for carrying out the order, but the police have yet to set a date for such.
"Under these circumstances, failure to carry out the order on Beit Yehonatan is liable to create a harsh sense of discrimination, serious damage to the rule of law and enforcement and deterrence capacities," he warned.
Beit Yehonata, a seven-storey building, is located in the middle of the Silwan neighborhood. In the building, which was built in 2004, live a number of Jewish families on rental contracts who receive support from the organization Ateret Cohanim. The building became the epicenter of a disagreement between Havilio, who is supported by the State Prosecutor and former Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who has sought a compromise that will prevent the legal order against the building from being carried out.
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