Thirteen Palestinian families face the grim prospect of displacement after the Israeli-run Jerusalem municipality informed intent to demolish a building in Wadi Qaddoum in occupied East Jerusalem, The New Arab reported.
The demolition of the building was planned for this week, but a municipal spokesperson told The New Arab that the Israeli police had postponed it without giving a new date or reason.
Some speculate that the United States, and possibly European countries too, pressured Israel to halt the demolition.
Deputy Jerusalem mayor Arieh King, an infamous pro-settler activist, vowed that the demolition would be executed. King criticized the decision to delay the demolition, suggesting in a tweet that Israeli PM Netanyahu bulked under pressure and halted the demolition.
Residents, however, fear municipal bulldozers and Israeli police may arrive on site anytime to carry out the demolition.
The four-story building was constructed in 2014 and a demolition order was issued several months later. Its residents say they have been in talks with the municipality to legalize the building for years but have been requested to meet complex demands, including allocating a piece of land at their expense for public use.
Building permits in occupied East Jerusalem are notoriously difficult to obtain from the city and other planning authorities. Further, Palestinians, who make up about 40 percent of the population, charge that Israel deliberately put obstacles to limit their presence in the city by refusing applications for building permits.
According to data collected by B’tselem between 2004-2022, Israel has demolished more than 1,860 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem alone, leaving 4,140 people homeless.
(The New Arab, PC)