Sunday, February 22, 2009

Israel Set To Destroy Hundreds Of Palestinians Homes In East Jerusalem

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Sun, 22 Feb 2009 17:40:19 GMT

Israel has issued a warning for hundreds of Palestinians to evacuate east Jerusalem (al-Quds) before demolishing their homes in the area.

"The owners of 80 houses in the al-Bustan neighborhood have received eviction notices saying that the structures will be destroyed because they are illegal," said Hatem Abdel Kader, an official responsible for the city's affairs in the Palestinian government.

Kader told AFP that "The (Jerusalem) municipality used this as a pretext to issue the demolition orders despite appeals by the residents."

He said that several of the houses served with demolition orders were built before 1967, when Israel captured east al-Quds during the Six Day War but that numerous extensions have been built since.

"The reason (for the notices) is not legal, but political," he said. "Israel wants to create a demographic disequilibrium in the city."

This is while a Palestinian resident said he received a demolition notice after failing to get a building permit from the Israeli authorities.

"I built my house a year and a half ago," he said. "I asked for a permit but never received authorization."

Israeli authorities have reportedly demolished some 350 houses in the neighborhood since 2004 under the same pretext.