Thursday, March 5, 2009

Demolition orders for the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al Bustan

Israel has issued orders for the demolition of an entire neighborhood in East Jerusalem called al Bustan which would uproot 2,000 people and replace their homes open park. The demolition orders are for 80 Palestinian homes that the Israeli authorities claim were built illegally. However, many of these homes were built BEFORE Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

As for construction after 1967, Israel has employed a policy of planning, development, and building that severely restricts construction by Palestinians creating a situation in which Palestinians are unable to obtain permits to build or even make additions to existing homes. Because of this, many Palestinians are forced to build without a permit because they have no other way to provide shelter for their families.

On the U.S. Secretary of State's visit to Israel, Clinton stated that activities like the demolition orders are "unhelpful" and "not in keeping with the obligations entered into under the road map." While Clinton's remarks are an understatement and the demolition orders are not only destroying the peace process but also in clear violation of Humanitarian Law, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat responded by charging the Palestinians with feeding Clinton misinformation and that the land had been set aside as open space and parks (apparently after the land had already been built on before 1967 when Israel acquired the land).

For more information about these particular demolition orders please follow these links:

ICAHD article about this neighborhood

PNN article about this neighborhood

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