Israel told more than 1 500 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem that they could be made homeless. Israel said that their homes are illegal and are to be demolished. (photo, from aljazeera.net)
“The owners of 80 houses in the al-Bustan neighbourhood have received eviction notices saying that the structures will be destroyed because they are illegal”, said Hatem Abdel Kader, an official responsible for Jerusalem affairs in the Palestinian government.
He added that several of the houses served with demolition orders had been built before the 1967 war, when Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan, but that numerous extensions have been built since.
“The [Jerusalem] municipality used this as a pretext to issue the demolition orders despite appeals by the residents”, he said.
The city authorities made no immediate comment.
The Arab east of Jerusalem has been annexed by Israel, which claims the whole city as its capital. However, east Jerusalem has not been recognised by world powers as the Israeli capital because under international law it is considered to be occupied.
B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organisation, said that since 2004, about 350 houses have been demolished by Israeli authorities, saying that they were built without permits.