Friday, July 19, 2019

Israel Continues Its Expansion One Palestinian Home At a Time

Source: Times of Israel

Court okays demolition of 100 East Jerusalem homes under Palestinian control

Sur Baher residents fear unprecedented order to raze 16 apartment buildings in Area A could drive Israeli demolitions deeper in West Bank

By TOI staff | 18 June 2019

Illustrative: Israeli police stand near an excavator as it demolishes a Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher on April 7, 2009. (Kobi Gideon / FLASH90)

The High Court of Justice has approved demolition orders for 16 East Jerusalem buildings that contain a total of some 100 apartments under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, sparking fears the unprecedented move could drive Israeli home demolitions deeper in the West Bank.

The court last week struck down an appeal against the demolition of 16 apartment buildings in the Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood of the Sur Baher neighborhood, according to a report in the Haaretz daily.

Demolition of unauthorized Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem is not unusual. However, the homes slated for demolition in Sur Baher — a neighborhood that straddles the Green Line — are located in the PA-controlled Area A of the West Bank.

The majority of Sur Baher is in Israel, but the Wadi al-Hummus part of the neighborhood lies beyond Jerusalem municipal boundaries, making it part of the West Bank. Though Wadi al-Hummus is on the Israeli side of the security fence, the Palestinian Authority takes responsibility for the residents there.

The court's dismissal of the case brought an end to the residents' seven-year legal battle against a military order that halted work on the 16 apartment buildings. Though the permits for the buildings were issued by the PA's planning ministry nearly 10 years ago, Israel in 2012 ordered a halt to construction work in Wadi al-Hummus, citing its close proximity to the security barrier.

Residents say Wadi al-Hummus is the only direction Sur Baher is able to expand as the border wall and increased Israeli building in the capital have hemmed in the neighborhood from other directions.

Please go to The Times of Israel to read the entire article.
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