Eer A’meen society, Israeli human rights group, has found that 2019 saw a record number of Palestinian houses demolished by Israeli occupation forces in occupied Jerusalem compared to previous years.
The Israeli occupation government adopts a “dangerous” discriminatory policy towards construction and home demolitions in occupied Jerusalem, the advocacy group added in a report.
Over the past year, the Israeli occupation has demolished 158 Palestinian housing units in occupied Jerusalem, 54 of them in the Wadi Hummus neighbourhood, and 117 other structures, resulting in the displacement of 238 people, 127 of whom were minors, the non-profit organisation continued.
Since 1967, the Israeli occupation authorities have restricted Palestinian construction in occupied Jerusalem, the group pointed out, noting that the construction plans approved were too few to meet the demands of nearly 340,000 Palestinians residing the holy city.
“Year after year, these needs increase and the housing shortage aggravates, and the Israeli authorities are aware of this problem. But they are doing very little to solve it,” added the group.
To embody the tragic circumstances of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents, the NGO group explained that only 7.2 per cent of the approved housing units in 2019 were for Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem, who make up about a third of the holy city’s population.
Having no other choice, the Palestinian Jerusalemites build their homes without hard-to-obtain Israeli permits in spite of demolition threats and having to pay exorbitant fines for the Israeli occupation authorities, the rights groups noted.
“In addition to the blatant discrimination against the eastern part of Jerusalem regarding government funds allocated to nearly all fields, the huge resources that Israel dedicates to demolish houses is a painful reminder of its list of priorities in the eastern side of the city,” the group concluded.