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Israel demolishes Palestinian house on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives

Ma’an News

30 June 2009

Two women were hospitalized after Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality demolished a house on the Mount of Olives in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday morning.

During the demolition Israeli police clashed with inhabitants of the house, bruising nine of them.

The destruction came a day after the municipality declared that it would freeze 70% of demolition orders.

Owner of the house Samir Jum’a said the home was 150 square meters in size and housed 15 people.

Israeli police who came to protect bulldozers during the demolition attacked the family and as a result nine people, including four women, were bruised, Jum’a said . Two women were evacuated to the nearby Al-Maqasid Hospital.

The injured family members were identified as 61-year-old Jamila Abu Jum’a, 65-year-old Huda Abu Jum’a, 38-year-old Ikhlas Abu Jum’a, 29-year-old Rwan Abu Jum’a, 27-year-old Hanadi Abu Jum’a, 32-year-old Samir Abu Jum’a (owner of the house), 42-year-old Khalid Abu Jum’a, 30-year-old ‘Amir Abu Jum’a, and 30-year-old Suheil Abu Jum’a.

The owner said the demolition came without any warning.

The West Jerusalem Municipality, which also governs occupied East Jerusalem, demolishes Palestinian houses on the grounds that they are built without construction permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.

According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Yakir Segev, revealed that in 2008 only 18 permits were issued for building in the Palestinian parts of the city, home to some 270,000 Palestinians.

It is the municipality’s policy of granting so few permits that is driving Palestinians to construct illegally, ICAHD said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“To get a construction permit in East Jerusalem you have to be more than a saint,” Segev was quoted as saying.

ICAHD reports that in 2008 the Municipality demolished 87 Palestinian homes, issued 959 demolition orders and collected 3.6 million US dollars in fines from Palestinians, 70% of whom live below the poverty line.