Israeli authorities have given the go-ahead for the demolition of forty Palestinian homes in a neighborhood of Jerusalem Al-Quds in an act that will probably bring long-simmering tensions over housing in the old city to a boil.
According to the Palestinian Information Center, the homes that are threatened with imminent demolition are located in Silwan, a deprived and overcrowded Palestinian community lying just outside the Old Jerusalem Al-Quds walls and in the shadow of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Jerusalem Al-Quds Mayor Nir Barakat announced in a press conference on Tuesday that a recreational center and a park are to be built in place of the Palestinian homes doomed to be destroyed.
Israeli officials have issued orders for the demolition of 40 buildings in the Bustan district which provide shelter for 1,500 citizens.
Israel frequently orders hundreds of Palestinians to leave their homes in Jerusalem Al-Quds, claiming that they do not have proper documentation for their houses. The moves are part of its Judaization campaign targeting the holy city.
On the other hand, the residents argue that Israeli officials have been withholding their documents or are refusing to issue documents for their houses.
The status of Jerusalem Al-Quds is one of the thorny issues of the peace process with the Palestinians, who say that the city should be the capital of the future Palestinian state. Israel captured mostly Arab East Jerusalem Al-Quds in 1967 and later annexed that half of the city in a move not recognized by the international community.
Tel Aviv continues to erect new homes in the occupied Palestinian territories despite strong opposition from the international community.
Palestinians and other Muslims insist that there can be no peace in the Middle East until Israel withdraws from East Jerusalem Al-Quds.