Building without a Permit: The Occupation's Pretext to Empty Al-Quds of Its Owners

May 16, 2022 08:11 am

Nuha Eleyan

The Israeli occupation attempts in various ways to displace Jerusalemites from their homes and lands in order to empty the occupied Al-Quds from its citizens, with the aim of passing its Judaizational plans and replacing the settlers there.

The demolition of Jerusalemites' homes under the pretext of construction without a road permit is one of the ways to achieve their colonial plans.

Old Policy

The chairman of Al-Quds Anti-Judaization Authority, Nasser Al-Hadmi, in a special statement to the Strategic Initiative Centre Palestine-Malaysia, stated that the Israeli occupation policy of demolishing Jerusalemites' houses is not the result of recent years, but it has begun since the occupation of Al-Quds in 1967, when the occupation's plans for demographic control over Al-Quds started, by preventing the Jerusalemites from benefiting from their lands and building on them to empty them of their owners to build colonial settlements instead. So, the occupation introduced the term "green lands" for the areas where the construction was to be prevented.

Incapacitate Terms

Al-Hadmi confirmed that the Israeli occupation government deliberately neglected the infrastructure of the areas where the Palestinians live in the occupied city, in order to use it as an argument for refusing to issue construction permits to the Jerusalemites, as the occupation requires a sound infrastructure in the area to be built. In addition to the very high cost of issuing building permits, this constitutes a burden on the Jerusalemites, who in case were able to pay, they would become unable to build on their lands. Therefore, those are incapacitated conditions that led the Jerusalemites to build without seeking permits.

Demolition in Numbers

Many areas of Al-Quds are subject to the policy of demolition by the so-called the municipality of occupation. The most affected places are Kafr Aqab, Beit Hanina, Al-Tur, Silwan, Issawiya and Sur Bahir, and Wadai al-Homs. The occupation demolished 160 facilities east of the occupied Al-Quds in 2021, according to the Israeli Information Center in the Palestinian Territories. The demolition and confiscation of Palestinian houses in the occupied Al-Quds and West Bank increased by 21% in 2021 compared to 2020; an increase in the number of the Palestinians displaced by 28%, according to a report issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The occupation adopts a policy of self-destructive demolition with the Jerusalemites, that is to say that the Jerusalemites demolish their houses with their hands, or pay a punitive fine if the house was demolished by the occupations bulldozers and mechanisms. This, of course, a flagrant violation of the human rights.

Resilience and Resistance

The punitive measures against the Jerusalemites for displacing them from their land did not deter them from staying there. The chairman of Al-Quds Anti-Judaization Authority, Nasser Al-Hadmi, confirmed that 25,000 to 30,000 houses were built without a permit, despite the owners' knowledge of the danger of this step, so that 150,000 Jerusalemites can remain inside the Holy City, and oppose the occupation's plans aimed at Judaizing it.

Al-Hadmi pointed out that the Jerusalemites rely on procrastinating in carrying out the demolition by brining cases to the occupation courts against the demolition decisions. That surely take years to decide and issue judgments, whether they were to demolish the house or to freeze the decisions; however, most judgments are usually in favor of the occupation.

Resistance Tools

Al-Hadmi stressed several points so that the Jerusalemites can resist this policy, the most prominent of which are the rejection of self-destruction because it harms the occupation and prevents it from reaching areas where the Palestinians live based on the international resolutions, as well as the proposal to establish neighborhood committees that monitor each construction and consider the conditions of the proper infrastructure to deter the so-called municipality of occupation from finding an argument for demolition.

He stressed the establishment of a council of lawyers to defend the resistance Jerusalemites in the corridors of the occupation courts, and to support their steadfastness and stability in their lands.