Two Palestinian brothers in the neighborhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem were forced to demolish their own homes on Saturday in compliance with an Israeli court order.
One of the owners, Said al-Abbasi told Ma’an that he and his brother Nasr had built their homes in the Karm al-Sheikh area of Silwan two-and-a-half years ago. However, before construction could be completed, the Jerusalem municipality delivered demolition orders for their homes.
During the court hearings, the Abbasi brothers, who are the fathers 12 children combined, were forced to close the construction site with concrete until all legal proceedings had concluded.
Said told Ma’an that the Jerusalem municipality had threatened to imprison the two brothers if they tried to resume construction at the site.
According to the brothers, they had attempted to obtain a license from the Jerusalem municipality over the past two years, but all their efforts were rejected. An Israeli court rules in October that the houses must be demolished for lacking Israeli-issued building permits and the fact that the homes were being built on land the municipality had declared an “open space reserve.”
The brothers eventually chose to self-demolish their homes to avoid costly fees charged to Palestinians by the municipality if they were to carry out the demolition.
A spokesperson for the Jerusalem municipality was not immediately available to comment on the incident.
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)