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Israeli authorities demolish 46 residential and non-residential structures during 2011

Al-Maqdese issued its annual home demolition report in East Jerusalem for the year 2011. The report , issued by the  Monitoring and Documentation Unit-MSD Data Bank, indicated that  since 2000 until the end of 2011, Israeli authorities demolished 1059 residential and non-residential structures; displacing around 4865 Palestinians, including 1290 women and 2537 children.  During 2011, MSD Data Bank documented the demolition of 46 residential and non- residential structures by Israeli authorities including the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem, the Israeli Ministry of Interior, Nature and Parks authority, and the Civil administration, and/or through forcing the citizens to demolish their houses by their own hands (Self-demolition).

Statistics of 2011 indicate that this year witnessed lower number of demolitions than the previous years. This is attributed to international advocacy campaigns and political pressure on the Israeli authorities by the international community as a response to the call of local and international human rights organization to stop demolitions of Palestinians’ houses.

During 2011, 46 structures were demolished (including residential and non residential structures) as follows; 26residential structures were demolished including 3 uninhabited residential units and 20 structures[1]. Eighteen persons were forced to demolish their houses by their own hands (Self-Demolition); they were either threatened with jail or expensive fines. These demolitions resulted in the displacement of 144 persons, including 30 women and 84 children. Demolitions prevailed in Beit Hanina neighborhood as 6 demolitions were executed and resulted in the displacement of 17 persons, including 7 children.  Demolitions prevailed as well in Al-Tur, Wadi Al-Joz, Jabal Al-Mukabber and Sur Baher neighborhoods.

MSD statistics indicate that home demolitions and forced self-demolitions in particular are on an increasing scale since 2000. Since then, Israeli authorities forced 289 persons to demolish their houses by their own hands.  The year of 2010 witnessed the highest rate of self demolitions; 70 self-demolitions were documented[2]. In 2009, self-demolitions reached 49 cases; while in 2011, 18 cases of self-demolition were documented by MSD data bank. In fact, self demolitions cannot be documented as a whole, as some people avoid informing media, human rights and civil society organizations about these cases.

Israeli occupation continues implementing its discriminatory policies against Palestinians, namely displacement, home demolitions, expulsion outside Jerusalem borders, denial of the right to residence and housing.  Meanwhile, Israeli government support settlers and extremist right wing groups in their plan of expansion and violence used against the Palestinians.

As the Arab spring has clearly influenced the Jerusalemite community; Al-Maqdese foresees peaceful demonstrations to be launched against Israel and its discriminatory policies. Al-Maqdese calls for the support of international community and Arab countries to enable Palestinians in general and Jerusalemites in specific to realize their rights and live freely.



[1] These include barracks, shops, walls, tents, and stores for non-residential purposes

[2] Source: MSD Data Bank statistics and a report from the Israeli Ministry of Interior

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