A report issued on Tuesday by the Society of the Arab Studies indicated that the Israeli Ministry of interior and Jerusalem Israeli Municipality are actually implementing a daily and systematic policy which prohibits the Arabs for building in the city, and encouraging the demolition of Arab homes in East Jerusalem. The report revealed that the Israeli authorities do not only see the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem asâ€ unwanted peopleâ€ but they rather look at them as a problem that they should get rid of.
The report added that since 1967, the Israeli authorities had demolished 8500 houses of East Jerusalem under several pretexts.
The Society had documented 786 demolished homes in the period between January 1, 2000, and September 30, 2007. The houses were demolished under the pretext of violating the Israeli construction law. 86 of the demolished constructions were leveled between January and September 2007, the demolition orders included most of the neighborhoods, villages and suburbs of East Jerusalem.
The report added that the core of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is to take control over East Jerusalem. Many measures were implemented by Israel, including confiscating 68 % of lands in East Jerusalem for the construction of 17 illegal settlements and dozens of outposts with more than 70.000 housing units inhabited by around 20.000 settlers.
The report asserted that the east Jerusalem is suffering a housing crisis for two reasons; first, the Israeli procedures where 25 km2 were confiscated since the city was occupied in 1967, 45% of the lands were classified as landscapes (12% of which are regulated for housing) .
The second reason is that the Israeli procedures are ignoring the Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem and their needs, especially housing needs and rights.
The main concern for the Israeli authorities was to reduce the number of the Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem and its suburbs to 22% under the decision that was taken by the ministerial committee in 1973 when the number of the Palestinian population of east Jerusalem reached was than 28,000.
The report added that 88% of the Palestinian homes were demolished and that only 12% of the lands of East Jerusalem were left to the Palestinians as most of these lands gave houses already built on them, while other Palestinian and Arab lands there are classified as absentee’s properties, no construction is allowed on.
The report indicated that around 20000 houses are threatened to be demolished under the pretext of illegal construction.
The report also stated that East Jerusalem is suffering from high density population with no space to live in and rare provided services.
Regarding the construction of the Annexation Wall around Jerusalem, the report said that more that 40.000 Dunams of Palestinian lands were illegal grabbed for the construction of the Wall, and dozens of homes were demolished while more houses will be demolished for the same reason.