Bulldozers belonging to the Jerusalem Municipality demolished on Wednesday a number of flats that belong to two residents in Al Tour Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The Israeli Authorities also handed 22 residents notices of intensions to demolish their homes. The attack was initiated when Israeli policemen and members of the Border Guards Units in addition to Special Forces, surrounded Al Tour neighborhood and barred the residents from approaching the area.

The family of resident Amin Ibrahim Al Abbasy, stated that Israeli bulldozers demolished their house in Anbar Street without any prior notice.

Ibrahim Al Abbasy said that he was informed on Monday that last year he was informed that Israeli authorities decided to demolish his home, but he was not given an official notice with a set date for the demolishing of his property. He filed an appeal to the Israeli High Court of Justice which in turn rejected it.

Al Abbasy built his home in 1996 and was living in it along with his wife and seven children. It had four apartments, each apartment was 400 square meters and included three rooms and bathroom.  Two of the four apartments were completed and two others were still under construction.

Moreover, Israeli bulldozers demolished the house of Majid Zaki Al Salaima, in Al Sahl Street in Jerusalem.

He was not at home and his neighbors phoned him telling him that the army, accompanied by bulldozers, is surrounding his property. He contacted his lawyer who phoned the Jerusalem Municipality and its officials told him that they do not intend to demolish the house. Yet, on the ground, the house was leveled.  

The demolished property included  two apartments, 85 square meters each, and each apartment included two rooms in addition to bathrooms and living rooms. 14 family members were planning to live in them.

Al Salaima, his wife and their eight children, were planning to live in one apartment while his son Hamza, 35, was planning to live in another apartment with his wife and three children.

He stated that , without any prior notice, municipality personnel hanged a notice on his door informing him with intentions to demolish the house.

He filed an appeal and the municipality decided on February 21, 2008 to demolish his house under the claim that a 30 centimeters of a four meter corner of the house  was not including in the original construction plan which was approved by the municipality. He was given a period until July 20, 2009 to license the additional section or demolish it.

Al Salaima added that he demolished the additional section last week and only left a small section to support the rooftop. “I was planning to place a special corner in order to support the rooftop before I remove the additional section”, he stated.

It is worth mentioning that Al Salaima lives in a small house in Shu’fat refugee camp, and had to construct a new house in order to live in with his family. 50.000 Jordanian Dinars was the cost of the construction of the two apartments.  

“The occupation is racist, Zionist, does not want any Palestinian to remain in Jerusalem”, he stated, “The Jerusalem municipality discriminates against us, it places the laws and it violates them”.

Moreover, the Jerusalem Municipality issued ordered to demolish 22 houses in Al Farouq and Al Loza neighborhoods in Silwan town, east of Jerusalem. The municipality claims that the houses were illegally constructed.