This morning municipality crews accompanied by border police forces demolished the home of the Khalil family from the neighborhood Issawiya. Their home was demolished for being built without a permit. The demolition adds on to the ongoing police raids of Issawiya which have been continuing daily for the past six months.
With today's demolition the number of demolished housing units in East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2019 has reached 100 a 38% rise from 72 housing units demolished in East Jerusalem last year and second only to 2016 which was the worst year for demolitions in East Jerusalem with 123 housing units demolished. The 100 demolished housing units count does not include 72 housing units demolished by Israeli authorities in Wadi Hummus just outside of East Jerusalem and on the Israeli side of the separation barrier and whose residents were also from East Jerusalem.
Also, since the beginning of 2019, 114 other units (shops, barracks for livestock etc.) were demolished by Israeli authorities in East Jerusalem.
The Khalil family is a household of four people and today was the fourth time since 1999 that they lose their home to a demolition. Like almost all residents of Issawiya, the Khalil family is not able to obtain a building permit. The detailed outline plan made by Israeli authorities for Issawiya in 1992 has exhausted itself many years ago. Since 1992 no update to the plan was made and no new plan was approved for Issawiya. In 2004 Issawiya residents initiated on their own expense the making of a new detailed outline plan. Allthough the making of the plan was coordinated with the Jerusalem municipality, in 2010 the Israeli authorities derailed it. The Jerusalem municipality promised in 2010 to prepare a new plan for Issawiya but nearly a decade later the plan was never brought for discussion at the planning committees. At the bottom line, for more the 27 years no new outline plan which will address the needs of the growing population in Issawiya w as made.
This situation is not unique to Issawiya but is typical to all the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. As mentioned above, 2019 will be one of the worst years of home demolitions in East Jerusalem. Full numbers and an analysis by Ir Amim of the reasons for the steep rise in demolitions is forthcoming.