Family self-demolishes home in Al-Rasasi district – in pictures

Monday, 30 May, 2011 | 22:35 |  Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) —  A Palestinian family has been forced to demolish their own home in Al-Rasasi district of East Jerusalem, between the Old City and Mount of Olives. The house’s owner, Mahmoud Aramin, decided to destroyed it himself in order to avoid a Municipality demolition, which would have incurred a large fine to cover the cost of demolition and possibly put Aramin at risk of a 6-month prison sentence. The home of three rooms covered 80 square metres and housed five family members. It was deemed illegal under Israeli law that cast the area a “green zone”. It is one of 40 houses in the region threatened with demolition. Aramin’s mother wept as she reflected on the harsh situation, having developed high blood pressure and diabetes – possibly due to stress – throughout the battle to keep their home. “Where are we to go?” she said. “The authorities say we are not the owners of our home and refuse to give us the necessary license to stay. We’ve lived through the British Mandate and Jordanian rule in wooden houses, which were demolished too. My brother, whose life they took, was buried here. Finally we have built a home to call our own, and how we must destroy it ourselves.” Aramin told Silwanic that the demolition took place on the eve of the Municipality’s deadline to destroy the house. “We are to attend a hearing to present the Municipality with photographic evidence of the demolition” he said. The family has been plagued by licensing issues since it was built in 1999, and has already been fined 50,000 NIS for its alleged illegality. “I managed to have several demolition postponed already since it was built,” said Aramin. “But in the end the Municipality declared the area of the house a green zone, with no authorisation to build on it.”

Source & More about Silwan | Jerusalem, History and News

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