Citizens put up a sit-in tent across from the Red Cross
January 22, 2014

Jerusalemites citizens from the town of Silwan put up a sit-in tent in front of the headquarters of the International Red Cross in Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem to protest against the neglect of their situation after the Israeli municipality demolished their residential homes. The Jerusalemite citizens requested the administration of the Red Cross to force the Israeli occupation to stop the demolition operations and displacement of Jerusalemites from their homes under the pretext of “building without a permit” and to stop the policy of "paying exorbitant building violation fees" to the occupation municipality. Khaled Al-Zeer, one of those affected by the demolitions, said: “the occupation municipality demolished my home on the 20th of last August and displacement my family which consists of 7 members and left them without a home. The municipality also issued an order to demolish a 6-square meter room that is built from bricks and roofed with tin plates that I built after demolishing my home.” He added: “My family and I were forced to live in a cave that is built on out land and the so-called “Antiquities Authority” started harassing me and is trying to evacuate me from the cave and confiscate the land in order to open a road and connect the settlement outposts in Silwan and Jabal Al-Mukabber.” He also said: “we came today to appeal for all international organizations led by the Red Cross to intervene and protect the Jerusalemite citizens in all whereabouts, and confront the crime of demolishing home and displacing citizens.” Ahmad Siam said: “the occupation municipality imposed a building violation fee of 72 thousand NIS under the pretext of building without a permit which was paid in full and we are trying to obtain a license from the municipality but are still worried that they would come at anytime and demolish our home and leave us homeless.” Wadi Hilweh Information Center points out that the occupation municipality’s crews distributed 30 demolition orders to residential, sports and commercial establishments in Silwan under the pretext of building without a permit since the beginning of the year. During last year, the Center monitored the demolition of 33 residential establishments (residential buildings, rooms, houses and caravans), and also demolished 15 commercial and residential establishments that were under construction, 12 residential establishments were self-demolished, 35 barracks used for residence and raising sheep. The demolition processes led to the displacement of 446 citizens and took place in Beit Hanina, Shu’fat, Al-Tur, Al-Sowaneh, Esawyeh, Silwan, Sur Baher, Jabal Al-Mukabber, the Old City of Jerusalem, Beit Safafa and Salah Eddin Street).  

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