On Saturday, a Palestinian family was forced to demolish its home, and another family had to demolish a kitchen in Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, after Israeli courts denied their appeals.

Zeid Salayma told the Wadi Hilweh Information Center In Silwan (Silwanic) that he built his 60 square/meter homes eight months ago, before Israel issued, two weeks ago, a demolition order that cannot be appealed in any court.

Zeid said he had to demolish his property to avoid the high fines and fees, in addition to the demotion costs, if the City Council used its workers and equipment to remove the property.

Also, Palestinians from the local Shalloudi family in Silwan were forced to demolish their kitchen in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood.

The family told Silwanic that the kitchen was added to their property in 2016 and received a demolition order that was shelved until June 2022, and two weeks ago, the city ordered them to demolish it by Saturday, May 27.

In related news, a former political prisoner, Ra’fat Al-Isawi, has to remove his furniture and belongings from his home after an appeal against a demolition order was denied.

Rafat told Silwanic that the home was built 21 years ago, but after the Israeli occupation authorities rezoned the structural map of the area, it became outside of the new structural map before he received the demolition order.

Israel’s illegal home demolition policy is internationally prohibited; according to Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and, likewise, all measures of intimidation or terrorism are prohibited. Pillage is prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”

While Israel continues to build and expand its illegal colonies, 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 under various allegations meant to prevent the expansion of Palestinian towns and neighborhoods.

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, and 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.”