On Monday, December 22, Israeli authorities issued five demolition orders for Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. One of the recipients of such an order, Akram al-Shurafa, told the Ma’an news agency that his home in al-Tur, built in 1938 and inherited from his grandparents, has been slated for demolition, despite the fact that the property has all the required legal documents and is registered in his mother’s name.
The other most recent recipients of demolition orders include Talal al-Sayyad and Basil al-Sayyad, even though neither of them owns any properties. Another man, Abdullah al-Hadera, received a demolition order for his al-Tur home, which was built over 50 years ago. Nadia al-Moghrabi, who was recently detained by Israeli authorities together with her daughter, similarly received a demolition order for her home in al-Tur.
Just last Wednesday, December 17, Israel’s Jerusalem municipality issued demolition orders for 11 other homes, all located in the Silwan neighborhood just south of the Old City, some built as long as 30 years ago; the offense – “building without a permit.” Yet Israel, as part of its ongoing, diversified, and relentless policy of displacing Palestinians in the areas under its control, rarely grants construction permits to Arab residents of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and regularly demolishes any structure built without a permit. According to the ICAHD – the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions – so far, in 2014 alone, Israeli bulldozers and other heavy equipment (see photograph, above) have demolished at least 359 Palestinian structures in the West Bank.