Land Research Center - LRC

The Israeli occupation force a family to demolish their own house in Jabal Al-Mukabir / Occupied Jerusalem


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Thursday , January 2nd 2020 , citizen Maher Surri was forced to demolish a segment of his house , on the pretext of building without licenses.

The targeted segment has an area of 100 m2, consists of a bed room, a kitchen and a bath , it was supposed to be a place for Maher’s son who was planning to get married and start a family . The targeted structure is attached to a house built 40 years ago and makes a home for 12 family members.

Owner Maher Surri told LRC reporter:

“In November 2019, we started building a new segment to our house using cement and bricks . in December 30th 2019 , municipality employees showed up and gave me a demolition order on the pretext of building without licenses , so I hired a lawyer to file an objection.

The lawyer tried to freeze or delay the demolition, but that was impossible, so he told me that it would be better if I demolished the house on my own , which will reduce the losses, in case the occupation implemented the operation, I will have to pay for all the demolition costs. However, on Thursday , I brought electric tools and demolished the structure that cost about 100 thousand shekels.”

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Noteworthy, the self-demolition cases increased dramatically in the last few years, victims realized that despite the bitterness, demolishing the structures in their own hands would reduce the financial loss, as the occupation municipality forces the owners to pay about 10 thousand shekels as costs of bulldozers and workers hired for the operation.

 Noteworthy , the town of Jabal Al-Mukabir consists tens of houses threatened of demolition for licensing issues , the occupation municipality is refusing to make an outline for the area claiming that it is an open natural space , the area is also adjacent to the Annexation & Expansion wall , where the occupation bans construction on around 100 m on both sides of the wall under security claims.

 Self-Demolition is a Crime against Humanity:

This kind of demolition is mainly imposed on Palestinians in Jerusalem in efforts to displace them and Judaize the city.

The Israeli occupation always justifies that type of demolition, which is a blatant contravention of the right to residence and a crime against humanity, on the pretext of unlicensed construction.

[If your house has been built without a building permit, then it is legal and you have to destroy it and remove the wreckage as soon as possible. You also have to take pictures of the destroyed structure and send them to the Inspection Department of the Planning and Construction Committee in the occupying municipality to verify the act. There is a fixed date regarding when you have to carry out the demolition operation and this is a red line you cannot cross. There is a second date set by the municipality court of local affairs to check if you have abided by the demolition order or not. In case you do not comply, the municipality will demolish your residence at your expense. If you cannot pay, you will be jailed, so the lesser of two evils becomes the self-demolition choice.]