RAMALLAH, December 5 (JMCC) - Three Palestinian homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Tur were temporarily saved from demolition Tuesday when lawyers for the residents convinced the Israeli military that a court decision had delayed the razing, reports the
According to Nazeeh al-Ansari, a resident of A-Tur and the director of the A-Tur Community Center, the demolition orders on the houses are years old, but the threat to carry them out is recent. “In October, we appealed the demolition notices in the Jerusalem District Court. They rejected our appeal, so we went to the High Court of Justice on November 27, and the High Court accepted our petition and ordered to freeze the demolition for 60 days until a new decision would be reached,” said Al-Ansari [...].
Often court rulings in home demolition cases are either ignored or lawyers are unable to get injunctions in time after the Israeli military shows up ready to bulldoze homes that have been ordered demolished.
Israel's High Court will ultimately rule on the status of these homes and it is very likely that they will be demolished. Author Moriel Rothman notes that the homes are connected to the E1 plan, where Israel recently announced that it will construct 3,000 settlement homes, and that more demolitions are likely.
First, these houses and this section of A-Tur are located directly within an area that the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality hope will become part of the “Mount Scopus Slopes National Park.” The plans for this National Park were launched last winter, but have since been delayed, as a result of both public pressure and legal advocacy.
Second, this park would not only serve as a means for confiscating private Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, it would also, according the research group Terrestrial Jerusalem, be a bridge that creates a “geographical link between the Old City basin and E-1.”
Israel’s declaration of its intention to build 3,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank have been calculatedly vague and nebulous, so it is difficult to verify the connection between the government’s recent retaliation against the Palestinians and the events of this morning. But the timing of these planned demolitions could facilitate a territorial linkage between occupied East Jerusalem and E1 area, which has recently returned to headlines. We should pay close attention to similar attempts in coming days and weeks to destroy Palestinian property and evict Palestinian residents from sensitive areas in East Jerusalem, including Silwan, Issawiya, A-Tur and other neighborhoods.