Only 13 percent of the total land area of East Jerusalem is allocated for the construction of Palestinian homes [AFP]
Two Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem were forced on Sunday to demolish their houses with their own hands to avoid paying high costs and fines after they received demolition orders from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem, according to local sources.
Palestinian news agency WAFA said that Palestinian houseowner Sami Obaid from al-Issawiya neighborhood, in East Jerusalem, tore down his 100-square-meter house, which was built a few months ago, with his own hands to avoid paying exorbitant costs if the Jerusalem municipality carries out the demolition on its own.
At the same time, Mohammad al-Sabbah was forced to demolish his house in the area of Ras Khamis in Jerusalem.
Earlier today, Raja'e Atiyeh, a resident of al-Isawiya, embarked on tearing down his own house in the neighborhood.
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 Jewish-only settlements in East Jerusalem with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city.