On Wednesday, a Palestinian family from Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied capital, Jerusalem, was forced to demolish its home after Israel denied all appeals.
The Abu Ramouz family in the Ras al-Amoud area in Silwan had to remove its furniture and belongings a day earlier in preparation for demolishing the property.
Just before the family started the demolition, City Council workers came with bulldozers, but the family refused to allow them to demolish it, before the family demolished its property with the help of a Palestinian neighborhood.
When families decide to self-demolish their own homes, they do so to avoid the excessively high fines and fees and demolition costs if the City Council uses its workers and equipment.
The owner of the property, Faraj Abu Ramouz, said that the family was informed of the demolition order a month and a half earlier before hiring lawyers to file appeals and added that it paid 75.000 Shekels in legal fees and 50.000 Shekels in fines but to no avail, because the Jerusalem Municipality denied all appeals, and refused to permit the building.
“We built the property early 18 months ago on land we own,” Faraj said, “I lived in it with my wife and our eight children, including a newborn child who is only ten days old. And now, we are all homeless but will remain steadfast on our lands,”
While Israel continues to build and expand its illegal colonies in direct violation of International Law, Palestinian communities and towns, in occupied Jerusalem, and various areas in the occupied West Bank, continue to be denied the right to build homes and property.
All of Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including those in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention in addition to various United Nations and Security Council resolutions. They also constitute war crimes under International Law.
Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory”.