Advocacy groups are warning of a dangerous rise in home demolitions in East Jerusalem in the wake of Israel’s war in Gaza.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has recorded 14 demolitions in East Jerusalem in the three weeks since Hamas shocked Israel1 by breaking through the fortifications around Gaza and carrying out an attack on Israeli military posts and civilian settlements around the border, resulting in the capturing of over 200 hostages and the killing of over 1,000 Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Most of the Palestinian structures demolished since the attack were inhabited homes, and 51 people were displaced. All of the structures were demolished by Israeli officials for being constructed without a building permit.
Nine of the structures demolished were in the three Palestinian neighborhoods of Beit Hanina, Jabal Mukabbir, and Sheikh Jarrah.
Voice of Palestine reported that another eight structures were demolished by their owners during the same time.2 Homeowners found to be in violation are often given the “choice” of paying a steep “service fee” to Israeli authorities to demolish their home or demolishing the structure themselves.