Pictures: Abu Rmeileh and Shawamreh families self-demolish their homes to avoid turning them into settlement outposts
Abu Rmeileh and Shawamreh families self-demolished their four houses in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina north of Jerusalem following an order by the Israeli Supreme Court that the land is owned by settlers since 1974.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that the Israeli court recently issued a decision regarding the ownership of the land where the houses of Abu Rmeileh and Shawamreh families are built, stating that the ownership belongs to settlers. The total area of the land is 3 Dunoms, where four houses are built on parts of it. Based on this decision, the families decided to demolish the houses and not give them up to settlers so they won’t turn into settlement outposts in Beit Hanina.
The center added that the Supreme Court approved the decision of Shawamreh and Abu Rmeileh, and gave them until the beginning of August next to demolish their homes and evacuate the land.
About 30 people, mostly children, live in the four houses. The families have set up two tents on adjacent land near the rubble of the demolished houses.
The families explained that they purchased the land in 2000, and a year later they built their homes. The municipality imposed financial violations under the pretext of building without a permit. They tried to license the houses by filing an "organization for the area" plan. The municipality gave its initial approval to the licensing until the settlers’ claims appeared in 2006.
The two families added that the settler Aryeh King had asked them through his lawyer for the land and to pay rent for usingthe land over the past years. After going to the courts, the judges confirmed the ownership of the land for the Palestinians living in the house, but King again demanded the land. After the Magistrate Court closed the case, King appealed the decision at the District Court and presented some documents that settlers own the land. Then, the court confirmed the ownership of the land to the settlers and so was the Supreme Court’s decision.