Jerusalem citizen Hussam Abbasi personally carried out the demolition of his on hometown residence in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood, saying that he did so to avoid possible Israeli-imposed penalties for building without a construction permit, a document which cannot be easily acquired by Palestinians.
Abbasi said he was forced to tear down his third-floor apartment residence, because demolition conducted by authorities threatens to damage other apartments in the building.
“I tore down my house with my own hands, because I was forced to do so, not because I am a hero,” Abbasi admitted.
He explained that by doing so, he avoided a hefty fee that would have been billed to him by the municipality had it conducted the demolition.
The municipality had summoned Abbasi about a month ago and gave him the option to either personally tear down the illegal construction, which was built a year ago, or wait on the municipality crews to carry out the demolition – provided that the costs of the operation, including crew, machinery and on-site guards are covered by Abbasi.
Abbasi is not the first Palestinian wreck his own home into rubble in the city of Jerusalem under the pretext of unauthorized construction.
Ziad Hamouri, director of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, said that Israeli authorities are exploiting construction laws to wage a war on Palestinian presence in the area.
He noted that the process for a Palestinian to acquire a construction permit drags for years and requires an exorbitant fee. Such a policy, according to the expert, has driven many Palestinians to resume building their homes without first obtaining legal permits.
According to B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the occupied territories, Israel spends tremendous efforts to prevent the growth of a large Palestinian population in Jerusalem and has allocated astronomical funds to erect Jews-only neighborhoods.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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