Jerusalem Razes Palestinian Home, After Fining 200,000 Shekels

Municipality says Ghazzawi family lacked permit for home; family says city turned down several requests for one.


Israeli authorities demolished a Palestinian two-family home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood A-Tur on Monday, the Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

Officials accompanying the bulldozer said the Ghazzawi family did not have a building permit for the home. However, family members said the Jerusalem municipality had turned down several requests for a construction permit.

They added that they had already paid upwards of 200,000 shekels (more than $57,000) in municipal fines in connection with the house, built in 1997.

They also said they were given no time to collect their belongings before the bulldozer flattened their home.

Jerusalem's policy of rarely granting building permits to homes in East Jerusalem, then demolishing them for lack of a permit, is a long-standing Catch-22 in the capital. The Israel Committee Against House Demolitions says 27,000 Palestinian homes on Jerusalem's eastside have been demolished since 1967, when Israel conquered the area from Jordan in the Six-Day War.