Citing local sources, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported that the Nassar family used a bulldozer to tear down their three houses in the Wadi Qaddum area of East al-Quds’ Silwan neighborhood on Wednesday morning.
They took the measure to avoid paying demolition costs to the municipality, which had ordered the razing of the buildings in the area under the pretext of lacking the necessary construction license, something that is almost impossible to obtain.
Mazen Nassar, a house owner, said they were forced to carry out the demolition to avoid paying 80,000 shekels (some $26,000) to the municipality.
He added that the occupation authorities offered the family “compensation” to evict their two-donum plot of land, whose father had bought 40 years ago.
As they refused the offer, they were subjected to acts of harassment by the municipal staff meant to drive them out of the area, he said.
The Tel Aviv regime regularly flattens Palestinian homes and structures in al-Quds under the pretext that they lack building permits.
However, Palestinians and rights groups say the moves are aimed at seizing more Palestinian lands to expand Israeli settlements.
Most of the international community considers Israeli settlement construction illegal under international law and an obstacle to the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands.