Israel has increased the demolition of Palestinian homes in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) as part of a “broad policy” to drive Palestinians out of the city, says a new report.
The final months of 2010 saw a sharp rise in the number of Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in East al-Quds, Israeli civil rights group Ir Amim (City of Peoples) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The civil rights group said the rise in demolitions was calculated to drive Palestinians out of the city, AFP reported.
“It is important to emphasize that the issue of home demolitions in Jerusalem is not a neutral enforcement of the law, but rather part of a broad policy that seeks to weaken Palestinian civil society in east Jerusalem and drive them out, “said the statement.
It documented 74 demolitions in east al-Quds in 2010, with the monthly figure peaking in December with 17 incidents.
Israeli forces have demolished at least two homes, in the Sheikh Jarrah and Beit Hanina neighborhoods of the city since the New Year
This is a continuation of the sharp rise in home demolitions in East al-Quds that has been the trend since mid-2010, and more significantly in the last two months of 2010, the group said.
The demolition of Palestinian homes and other structures in East al-Quds and the occupied West Bank happens on a regular basis.
Israel claims the demolitions are only ordered for structures that were built without planning permission.
The Palestinians however say it is virtually impossible to get a building permit, particularly for housing in the city, and Ir Amim said the demolitions were part of a political policy.
Israel occupied East al-Quds during a 1967 aggression and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community.