Ethnic Cleansing in East Jerusalem

Never forget: “As a Palestinian I know why they do it. Israel doesn’t want us here. My house, most of the Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem are illegal. Not granting us construction permission, demolishing our houses. It’s a form of quiet transfer,” Mr Zahaika says. “People like to talk of human rights. Where are human rights here? If you destroy a family home in winter, it’s cold. In summer, it’s hot. At the same time Israelis can build and live in East Jerusalem without being disturbed. Is it one rule for us, one rule for the Jews, the Israelis?” Israel’s Association for Civil Rights says Jerusalem’s municipality uses planning regulations to curb Palestinian construction. Although Palestinians make up an estimated one third of the Jerusalem population, according to ACRI, only 7.25% of the city’s land is designated for their building projects. Hundreds of East Jerusalem Palestinians have lost their homes over the past few years, thanks to demolition orders. Israeli NGO’s, such as B’Tselem, warn that close to 2,000 could face the same fate over the next months. If current demolition orders are carried out, this would be the largest loss of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem since Israel captured the territory just over 40 years ago. At the same time, Jewish Israeli citizens are moving in to the area. This is illegal under international law as East Jerusalem is occupied territory, though Israel disputes this and has annexed the area.

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