Al-Sowaneh: Risk of demolition threatens the families of Tutanji and Totah
April 11, 2016

The houses of Tutanji and Totah families in the neighborhood of Al-Sowaneh east of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem are at risk of being demolished following an order from the District Court and under the pretext of building without a permit on lands classified as “national parks”.

The District Court’s decision was issued last month and was in effect on the 9th of April and both families are now at risk of being displaced from their homes at any moment.

Aref Tutanji, owner of one of the houses, said: “The District Court issued a decision to demolish my house and my neighbor’s houses, Hani Totah, after we’ve been fighting the cases in the Israeli court to protect our homes on one side and protect 27 Dunoms of land (27000 square meters) where 10 homes are established on another side.”

Tutanji added that his house is 80 square meters where 17 individuals live mostly children; it has been established for 20 years.

He added that the land where his house is established along with several other houses is 27 Dunoms owned by Ansari and Totah families but the occupation authorities classified it as “national parks” meaning that it is “green” and cannot be used and construction is prohibited. The so-called Nature and Parks authority and municipality seek to confiscate the land and turn it into a national park for settlers.

Tutanji also explained that there are also 10 other homes established on this land half of them built even before the occupation of Jerusalem and the other half established nearly 20 years ago.

He appealed for local and international human rights organizations to focus on their case and prevent the demolition from taking place.