Home Demolished for Second Time in Jerusalem’s Old City

12 December 2007

Yesterday morning at approximately 8 am the Kabaja’ family was informed that their small home was to be demolished for a second time. Israeli Occupation Forces accompanied the bulldozer and arrested two sons, Ali and Omar, aged 19 and 20. The demolition was part of a series of devastating demolitions throughout Israel and Occupied Jerusalem; over 25 homes in the Negev desert were also demolished yesterday. The demolitions of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, particularly in the Old City and nearby areas, are part of a much wider concerted effort on the part of the Israeli government to force Palestinian residents to leave Jerusalem and to “judaicize” the city. The home was demolished ostensibly because it was built without a permit, though it was built within a larger compound owned by the extended family on land that is clearly owned by the Kabaja’ family and zoned as residential. Not a single permit has been given to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to build new houses or expand existing houses in Jerusalem in years. This means, as is now the case for the Kabaja’ family, that several generations of families, sometimes 15 or 20 people, are all living in the same house; determined to stay in the city of their ancestors.