Land Research Center - LRC

The Occupation Municipality in Jerusalem force Abu Kaf family to demolish their own house / Sur Baher- occupied Jerusalem


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The Israeli municipality in Jerusalem forced Muhannad Adel Abu Kaf, a resident of Sur Baher - Al-Latun Street, to self-demolish his apartment on the evening of May 19, 2022, under the pretext of building without a permit.

The Occupation forces issued a 50,000 shekel bell against Abu Kaf This is in addition to the crew’s wages, so Abu Kaf self-demolished his house to avoid a fine and to preserve his father’s house, which is close to his apartment, in order not to destroy the walls of the house if the municipality to demolish with heavy machinery. In addition, Abu Kaf was charged with demolishing and cleaning the place, which amounted to 10 thousand shekels. Abu Kaf thus, used the bulldozer and light tools to complete the demolition process.

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The remains of the apartment and the village of Umm Tuba to the southwest

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 The neighborhood to the north, knowing that the apartment is in a lower area from the street

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The remains of the apartment after the demolition

The young man, Muhannad Abu Kaf 27 years old, built this 70-square-meter apartment two years ago with the intention of marrying in it, and it cost him about 180,000 shekels, about 60,000 US dollars, as a home for his stability and future family. It consists of two rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a hall.

It is noteworthy that the demolition order came suddenly and without warning at a time when the family was preparing for their daughter’s wedding! so they had to be busy with the demolition and the wedding party together, which was a shock and sadness for the entire family and for the girl in particular, so her joy changed to sadness for her brother and the loss of his efforts of building a home for his future family.

As for Muhannad, he was preparing himself to marry his fiancée in August of 2022!, and he paid everything he owned to complete the construction and provide it for the stage of stability, and he expressed to the Land Research Center researcher that “I was very happy because I was able to complete the apartment to receive my future wife, and my happiness was greater Because I will live near the big family house next to my father, mother and brothers, and share with them daily life, and they will also receive my children with me in the future, But now I have to postpone the wedding and find a place to rent, which may be far from my family and cost me a lot”.

He added that “the occupation had stormed the place after the demolition and asked him to demolish two other walls so that the demolition process would be complete and conform to the standards of the occupation municipality”.

Picture (4) shows the wall that the owner has to demolish according to the municipality's orders.

Sur Baher village, one of the Palestinian villages located to the southeast of Jerusalem, which was occupied in 1967, on the northern borders of the city of Bethlehem. It is bordered by the villages of Abu al-Hummus from the east, Umm Tuba from the south, Mukaber from the north, and Beit Safafa from the west. As for the settlement of Har Homa (Jabal Abu Ghneim), it borders it from the south, and is crossed by the American road from the east. In addition to the many ongoing demolitions, the town’s lands are threatened by many Among the Judaization projects aimed at tightening the screws on the population and forcing many of them to leave the place and desertion, including what was announced in 2021 about the expansion of Har Homa settlement to the south with about 6000 new settlement units.

Sur Baher village:[1]

3 km south Jerusalem city, Sur Baher is bordered by Al-Sawahira Al-Gharbiyya, Jabal Al-Mukabir and (Talpiot) settlement on confiscated lands (North), The Green Line and the occupied territories of 1948 , Ash-Shaikh Sa’ad village (east), and Beit Sahour ,Umm Tuba and Har Homa settlement (south).

Sur Baher and Um Tuba together have a population of 18,137 people in 2011 census “The Jerusalem Institute for Israeli studies 2012”.

The town’s population come from several families: Duyat, Dabesh, Nemr, Eleyan, Hamada, 'Amaira, Abu Kufur, Bukairat, Jbour, Jad Allah, Abu Jamid , Al Atrash.

Sur Baher has a total area of 6,894 dunums , of which 2,076 dunums are the town’s built up area, it is in the borders of the occupation’s municipality in Jerusalem, after they illegally annexed it in 1967.

The occupation confiscated (1517) dunums from Sur Baher for the following purposes:

Talpiot settlement, which was established in 1973 devoured 1291 dunums , and inhabited by 12,591 people.

The segregation wall (2,260 m long) devoured 226 dunums, and blocked 6,033 dunums (west) and 861 dunums (east).

Oslo conventions divided the town as the following :

A area (764) dunums.

B area (134) dunums.

C area (5,995) dunums.