Palestinians charge that the true purpose of the restrictive planning regime applied by Israeli authorities is to empty the city of its Palestinian inhabitants.
The UN’s Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) noted in an April 2019 report that in East Jerusalem “a restrictive planning regime applied by Israel makes it virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain building permits.”
The building permits are charged at extortionate prices and are unaffordable for most Palestinians, creating a legal loophole for Israel to annex more land and to leave Palestinians in limbo by preventing them from developing infrastructure.
The latest demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem brought the total number of Palestinian structures destroyed this year to 118: “Half of them were carried out by the owners,” reported OCHA.
Israel’s widely practiced policies of home demolitions targeting entire families are acts of illegal collective punishment and come in direct violation of International Human Rights Law.