The Dabash Palestinian family, in Sur Baher village southeast of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank, has completed the demolition of its home five days after they started the demolition when the City Council in occupied Jerusalem refused to grant them a permit, despite paying the fees and fines.

The family constructed its home six years ago, however, nearly three weeks earlier, the city council handed them a demolition order, after the family already paid more than 25.000 Shekels in fines and fees.

The family filed numerous appeals with the city but to no avail and was told it must demolish its home at its own expense or pay higher fines and fees in addition to the demolition cost if the city uses its workers and equipment.

Shima’ Dabash said her home consisted of six rooms and provided shelter to eleven family members.

“Our home is just rubble now, we had to demolish it to avoid the excessive fines and fees,” she said, “We don’t even have money to pay rent, my husband is the sole breadwinner in our house, and we have no idea what to do now.”

The husband, Ali, said that the police invaded the home nearly twenty days ago, and handed the demotion order.

“After the city imposed a 25.000 Shekels fine, I started making payment to save my house,” he said, “Yet, they invaded our property and ordered us to demolish it.”

“For many years, we have been filing permit applications and paying fees, however, for us, the Palestinians in Jerusalem, having a construction permit approved is like a miracle.” Ali added, “While the world welcomed the new year with celebrations, we welcome it as a houseless family.”

              Dabash Family – Photo By Al-Qastal

It is worth mentioning that the Land Research Center stated that the Israeli authorities have demolished 950 Palestinian homes and structures, and illegally confiscated more than 24.750 Dunams of privately owned Palestinian lands, in addition to cutting and uprooting 17.740 trees, this year.

Dozens of Palestinian homes and structures have been demolished in occupied Jerusalem, including sixty-nine homes in Silwan town, displacing 342 Palestinians, most of them are children, while Israel also issued demolition orders targeting 172 homes, in addition to standing orders targeting 5600 homes and structures.

Meanwhile, Israel expanded fifty-five illegal colonies, while fifteen new illegal outposts were also installed on Palestinian lands, and twenty-five segregated roads were paved or prepared, leading to illegal colonies and outposts in the West Bank, were paved or prepared.

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 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”.