The Jerusalem Center for Social & Economic Rights (JCSER) has revealed that demolition orders have been issued against eighteen Palestinian houses in Al-Ashqariyeh in Beit Hanina, north of Occupied Jerusalem, and delivered to the home-owners. High fines have been imposed on the owners, with the Israeli authorities citing ‘illegal’ construction.
According to preliminary information gathered by the Center from the home-owners, most of the houses are inhabited and some were built years ago. At the time, fines in the amount of 30,000 shekels were imposed on the house-owners, due to lack of building permits. Ninety percent of the inhabitants are children, and the average family size is between 6 and 10.
Among the owners are: Eman Abed Al-Bari Zaloum, Hayel Zaloum, Mohammed Al-Khatib, Jamal Idris, and the Shweiki and Burqan families. On Monday, 11 August 2003, Israeli bulldozers were planning to demolish Iman Zaloum’s house just one day after she received a demolition order requiring her to vacate the house. Twelve family members live in the house.
According to the Center, a number of houses in Al-Ashqariyeh are threatened with demolition. Over the past eight months, a total of six Palestinian houses have been demolished in the neighborhood.
The neighborhood has a total population of over 5,000 Palestinians and is considered one of the most frequently targeted neighborhoods; particularly strict restrictions have been imposed on the construction in the area.
The neighborhood lies adjacent to the Israeli Jewish-only settlement of ‘Rekhes Shu’fat’ on the southern side, and on the western side it is adjacent to road no. (44), which connects ‘Atarot’ to the city center.
In another development, Israeli bulldozers demolished Jawad Siam’s 80-sqaure-meter garage in Ein Alozeh in Silawan. Moreover, Israeli bulldozers demolished Mohammed Ahmad Hadrah’s 900-meter cement wall in Sheikh ‘Anbar in the Tur neighborhood, east of Occupied Jerusalem, citing ‘illegal’ construction.
It should be noted that this is the second campaign carried out by Israeli authorities in four weeks. The first campaign was carried out a month ago when demolition orders were issued against dozens of Palestinian houses in Sur Baher, Jabal Al-Mukabber, south of Occupied Jerusalem, and Sh’fat refugee camp, north of Occupied Jerusalem. Over thirty Palestinian families have been given demolition orders in these areas.