Inspectors of Jerusalem municipality on Monday handed a demolition warrant to a Palestinian family notifying them that two residential buildings are scheduled to be demolished, potentially displacing 19 people. According to Ma’an Palestinian News Agency, the Siyam family where told that the buildings in Silwan neighborhood would be demolished “because they were constructed without the needed license.” The buildings, according to family members, belong to Hammudah Siyam and his brother Mahran. Their brother Dawood told a Ma’an reporter that the buildings were constructed ten years ago. The first building is a two-story building and consists of four apartments measuring 540 square meters belong to his brother Hammudah who has a family of twelve, he said.
The other building, which consists of one apartment measuring 135 square meters, is inhabited by his brother Mahran’s seven family members. Siyam highlighted that his mother, who passed away two years ago, had funded the construction ten years ago and had earlier paid a fine of 650,000 shekels ($187,000) after the municipality of Jerusalem issued a demolition order previously.
Israel has destroyed more than 604 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year, displacing 1011 people, according to UNOCHA. Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.