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Two Old City Jerusalem families forced to demolish own homes

Aug. 26, 2009 4:50 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 27, 2009 4:20 P.M.)
Jerusalem – Ma’an – Two Palestinian families in Jerusalem’s Old City have been forced to demolish their own house after Israeli authorities threatened him with heavy fines if he did not.

One resident, Muhammad Faysal Jabir lived with his family of five in a 28 square meter house in the Aqbat Al-Khalidiyya neighborhood of the Old City. Jabir told Ma’an that the apartment used to be just 12 square meters, and that he added an extension apparently without permission from the Jerusalem Municipality.

The Israeli controlled Jerusalem Municipality frequently refuses Palestinian requests for construction permits, using this as a pretext for house demolitions. Self-demolition is often the least expensive route for Palestinians facing the destruction of their homes.

Israel occupied and later annexed East Jerusalem, a step not recognized internationally.

Meanwhile, the documentation department of Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights was said that another resident living in the As-Silsila neighborhood of the Old City, Muhammad Al-Mughrabi was also forced to demolish his house after the Jerusalem Municipality threatened he would pay a fine of 80,000 Israeli shekels (21,063 US dollars).

According to the organization, Israeli authorities have forced 18 Jerusalem families consisting of 135 people to demolish their own homes.
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