A Palestinian citizen of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz, demolishes his own home under pressure from the Israeli municipality. (Photo credit: Wadi Hilweh Information Center)
Israeli occupation authorities on Tuesday morning forced a Palestinian to demolish his own house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukaber.
According to WAFA news agency, Aziz Oweisa tore down his house purportedly for being built without a license after being fined 32,000 shekels (some USD $10,000) by the occupation authorities.
The Oweisa family carried out the demolition to avoid paying exorbitant fines if the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem carries out the demolition on its own.
They added that the family received the demolition order two weeks ago, nothing that they were only given until Monday evening to self-demolish the house.
Meanwhile, another resident of Jabal al-Mukaber received a demolition notice against his house under the same pretext.
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.