Palestinians are forced to demolish their own homes to avoid paying exorbitant costs if the Israeli municipality carries out the demolition. (File photo)
Israeli occupation authorities on Tuesday forced a Palestinian to demolish his own house in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabber, under the pretext of unlicensed building.
Khalid Abu Tayeh, an activist, told WAFA news agency that Fawaz Abdo embarked on tearing down his own 100-square-meter house late Monday evening in the neighborhood to avoid paying exorbitant costs if the Jerusalem municipality carries out the demolition on its own.
Abdo said that the demolition of his house, which he built over five years ago, resulted in the displacement of his family composed of six members.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center, a Silwan-based media center, reported Abdo noting that he had no option but to carry out the demolition after the Israeli municipality rejected his attempt to freeze the demolition order.
Using the pretext of illegal building, Israel demolishes Palestinian houses on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem.
At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem for Jews with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city.
Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian Territory that has been subject to Israeli military occupation since 1967, they are denied their citizenship rights and are instead classified only as "residents" whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.
They are also discriminated against in all aspects of life including housing, employment and services, and are unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel's separation wall.
According to a report by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the Israeli High Court could be liable for war crimes for their policies that led to the dispossession of Palestinians from their properties in Area C of the West Bank.
The report, Fake Justice, shows that the court’s support of Israeli planning policy is tantamount to support for dispossession and forcible transfer of Palestinians, a war crime under international law.