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Israel demolished 5000 homes in Jerusalem since 1967: report

Israel has demolished over a thousand Palestinian homes since 2000, according to the LRC [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 15 March, 2018

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A new report sheds light on Israel's demolition of thousands of Palestinian homes, as well as the obstacles preventing Palestinians from obtaining necessary building permits.


Israel has destroyed five thousand homes in Jerusalem since 1967, a new report published by the Land Research Centre says (LRC).

According to the Palestinian group, 70,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem were displaced in 1967 - the year of the Six Day War - and were prevented from returning to the city. 

It adds that around 198,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites were displaced by Israeli forces in 1948, around 6,000 of whom left before the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Many of the homes abandoned by Palestinians in 1948 were then occupied by Jewish settlers - as many as 16,000 - the report says.

In recent decades, Israel continued its demolition of Palestinian homes, with 1,706 having been destroyed between 2000 and 2017. These demolitions displaced 9,422 Palestinians, over half of whom were children, according to the LRC.

The LRC report comes amid sustained attention given to Jerusalem in recent months, following the United States' controversial decision to recognise the city as Israel's capital in December.

As Israel attempts to secure its grip on the holy city, it has routinely destroyed Palestinian houses and structures by citing permit issues. Israeli authorities have also followed a controversial policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinians suspected of attacking Israeli soldiers.

Obstacles


As Israel continues to demolish homes, schools and other facilities, Jerusalem's municipal authority has made it increasingly difficult for Palestinians to construct new buildings, according to the LRC report. 

Between 2010 and 2014, only 1.5 percent of all Palestinian building permit applications were approved by Israel, according to the UN.

The cost of a permit for a single home is estimated to be in the region of $30,000.

Adding to the obstacles is the fact that only 12 percent of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem can be used for urban development. Furthermore, only 7 percent of this is reserved for residential properties. 

These problems have made it virtually impossible to meet Palestinian housing needs in Jerusalem, which is estimated to be around 2,000 new housing units per year.

According to the LRC, around half of the city's Palestinian residents are currently living in unlicensed homes, putting them at risk of future displacement.

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