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Tue Apr 30, 2013, 05:23 PM

PHOTOS: The Face Of Israel's Discriminatory Home Demolition Policy

Demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem are part and parcel of Israel’s publicly stated plans to reduce and control the demography of Palestinians and non-Jews in Jerusalem. With little chance of receiving building permits, Palestinian families often decide to build anyway, hoping that maybe their home will be spared.

By Activestills |Published April 30, 2013

On Wednesday April 24, Israeli authorities demolished three Palestinian houses in the At Tur neighborhood on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. The pretext, as usual, was that the owner had built illegally, though he had spent months applying for permits from the Jerusalem Municipality and provided all requested documentation. One of the structures demolished was an addition built to house the youngest generations of the 45-member Jaradat extended family, illustrating one of the basic quandaries facing East Jerusalem Palestinians: As families grow and children get married to start families of their own, where can they live if the government will not grant them permission to build?

--PHOTO AT SOURCE LINK--

Israelis sometimes display a disturbingly blasé attitude toward the demolition of Palestinian homes. One sometimes encounters the attitude, even among self-proclaimed leftists, that “there are laws,” and since an Israeli Jew cannot build a house without permission, why should a Palestinian be able to? They might even offer examples of how their own family wanted to build and were denied permission. So if Israelis obey the law, isn’t it the Palestinians’ fault when they are punished for breaking it?

--PHOTO AT SOURCE LINK--

This attitude may seem reasonable to foreigners as well. Most countries have zoning and building regulations that are generally respected as a necessity for maintaining orderly communities. But what these attitudes fail to grasp is the systematic discrimination faced by Palestinians under Israeli occupation, a context well-documented by various human rights organizations. It is no accident that the average Israeli seeking housing or permission to build simply has far more options and opportunities than the average Palestinian.

--PHOTO AT SOURCE LINK--

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http://972mag.com/photos-the-face-of-israels-discriminatory-home-demolition-policy/70210/

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