The aftermath of a house demolition in Jerusalem, September 2018. Photo credit: OCHA – OPT.

Israeli forces demolished five Palestinian-owned structures in the holy city in September.

Israeli authorities continued targeting Palestinian homes and businesses for demolition in the holy city throughout September.

On September 20, 2018, Fadi Shwamreh demolished his home in Beit Hanina. According to an Israeli demolition order, if Shawamreh did not demolish his home himself, Israeli forces would raid his home, demolish it, and then charge him for the costs of demolition.

Members of the Shwamreh family demolish their own home in Silwan, September 20, 2018. Photo credit: Wadi Hilweh Information Center.

Shawamreh reports that his home was built in 2006. Israeli authorities accuse him of building the home without an Israeli construction permit. Fifteen people lived in Shawamreh’s home.

On September 5, Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian home in Beit Hanina. The house was owned by Naeem Farrah and his family.

#شاهدهدم وتدمير منزل عائلة فراح في بيت حنينا بالقدس وتشريد ساكنيهDemolishing the house of Farrah family in Beit Hanina in Jerusalem and displacing its residents

Posted by ‎Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan مركز معلومات وادي حلوه -سلوان‎ on Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Sana Farrah told the Wadi Hilweh Information Center that Israeli forces raided the home and then forced her outside in order to execute the demolition. Israeli police did not allow the family to remove most of their belongings from the house.

The family had attempted to postpone the demolition of their home in Israeli courts. “The family built the house 16 years ago and fines were imposed amounting to NIS 120,000. After the fines were paid, the municipality issued a decision to demolish the house,” Sana explained. Eight people lived in the Farrah family home.

Israeli forces demolished another Palestinian home on September 5 in Silwan. The home belonged to Ali Abu Sway, who reports he had no prior notice of an impending demolition. Israeli authorities allege his home, which was built five years ago, lacks Israeli construction permits.

Israeli forces demolish the Abu Sway family home, September 5, 2018. Photo credit: Wadi Hilweh Information Center.

Israeli forces demolished two homes in Anata on September 4. The homes belonged to the Fahidat family. Ziad Fahidat told Ma’an News that six people lived in them.

The Israeli municipality zones only 8 – 13% of East Jerusalem for Palestinian residential construction. As a result, many East Jerusalem residents are forced to build without permits to avoid overcrowding. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel found that 20,000 homes in East Jerusalem – 39% of all homes in East Jerusalem – lack Israeli construction permits.

Israeli land use designations in East Jerusalem. Graphic by UN Human Settlements Program.

Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem are the target of Israeli settlement plans, which aim to link four concentric circles of settlements, starting with the Old City, followed by the “Holy Basin” (Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah, a-Tur, Mount Zion, and the Kidron Valley), Jerusalem’s annexation border, and finally the West Bank.

The United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs reports that as of September 24, a total of 306 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished by Israel this year. The European Union found in August that nearly half of the Palestinian-owned structures demolished by Israeli authorities this year were in the Jerusalem district.