City of Jerusalem requests demolition of homes in East Jerusalem after Amona ruling

After the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision regarding Amona, the Jerusalem municipality has turned to the courts requesting to destroy Arab homes in east Jerusalem that had been built on private Jewish property.
House demolition in Beit Hanina Photo Credit: Archives/Channel 2 News

A week ago, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat turned to the Attorney General to check the implications of the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling regarding Amona, as previously reported by JOL.  Channel 2 Online news discovered that Barkat had moved forward without waiting for legal advice from the Attorney General, with plans of heading to the courts regarding the legality of Arab homes built on private Jewish property in East Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, the municipality filed a request for the demolition of the hundreds of homes in East Jerusalem unknowingly built on private Jewish property, though the identity of these Jewish owners is unknown.  The Jerusalem Attorney General has filed the request, which calls for the immediate demolition of 14 buildings ruled illegal.

Planned area of demolition Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

In these buildings, in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina, live 40 families who are sitting on private property managed by a management trustee of the State of Israel. In the request, the municipality also asks to remove all bureaucratic procedures to expedite demolition orders that have been delayed for years.

The city explains that what led to this request was the Supreme Court’s Amona ruling. A city official who spoke with Channel 2 News Online explained, “We no longer need any council and it is our responsibility to protect these homes.” He said, “This situation is identical to that in Amona.”

Barkat discussed the matter in a similar tone, “The ruling for Amona leaves us with no further need to discuss the legality of the matter.” He stated, “If the Amona matter isn’t handled, our hands are tied and we will be required to demolish hundreds, if not thousands of homes in Jerusalem. There is not one law for Jews and another for Arabs.”

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