Demolition scene by Israeli forces. (File photo)
Three Palestinian families from the occupied Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukaber were ordered by the Israeli municipality to demolish their own homes to avoid paying exorbitant costs if the municipality carries out the demolitions itself.
Wafa News Agency quoted Musa Kassab Bashir, a co-owner of one of the targeted houses, as stating that the Israeli municipality handed the family an order on April 26 asking them to demolish the 85-square-meter house, under the pretext of lacking a construction permit.
He said the family had no option but to do so in order to avoid paying unreasonable demolition costs to the Israeli municipality.
The home demolished was the only shelter for the six-member family.
At the same time, two Palestinian brothers from the occupied Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukaber embarked on demolishing their two homes after they were asked to do so by Israeli municipality.
Imad and Ahmad Mashahreh said the Israeli municipality handed them a notice asking them to demolish the two houses under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
The two houses demolished were the only shelter for their two families of 11 persons.
Palestinians in Jerusalem say they are forced to build without a permit because getting a building permit is impossible in an area where the right-wing mayor and city council attempt to keep the city’s Palestinian population at a bare minimum while multiplying its Jewish residents by approving the construction of thousands of new housing units in Jewish settlements.
Almost 75 percent of applications for a permit by the Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem are rejected by the Israeli municipality, according to rights groups.