Acri takes the principle of housing demolitions in East Jerusalem to the Israel courts


November 17, 2009
Richard Kuper

acriFrom Melanie Takefman, International Communication and Development Coordinator, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI):

I am writing to inform you that ACRI, Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights, and an East Jerusalem resident last week filed a petition against the principle of house demolitions in East Jerusalem , the first of its kind, to the Jerusalem Administrative Court . On behalf of Ghasam Abidat, the Jabal al-Mukabar neighborhood Parent-Teacher Association chairman and Bimkom, ACRI demanded that the Jerusalem Administrative Court order the Jerusalem Municipality and other authorized bodies to initiate an appropriate planning process to meet the needs of the Jabal al-Mukabar neighborhood within three years.  The petitioners requested that – until such a planning process has been completed – administrative demolition orders issued against buildings in the neighborhood be suspended, no new orders be issued, and no new indictments on construction without a permit be filed.

Since 1967, East Jerusalem neighborhoods — particularly Jabal al-Mukabar and Arab al-Sawahra — have been seriously discriminated against in terms of their urban planning: no comprehensive outline plan was ever made for East Jerusalem .  Furthermore, despite the fact that the Palestinian population of the area has quadrupled since 1967, land that was annexed by Israel at that time has not been allocated for the construction of apartments for this population.  During the same period, some 40,000 housing units were built in East Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods.  Even the updated blueprint plan of “Jerusalem 2000” still severely restricts the Palestinian residents’ construction options.

This petition is just one step in our struggle to end unjust house demolitions, a widespread problem in all of East Jerusalem , as well as the larger problem of severe discrimination in housing and planning policies.

Here is a link to the full petition in Hebrew.

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