Israel seeks to create a demographic imbalance in Jerusalem

Two specialists in Jerusalem Affairs said that the Israeli authorities seek, by continuing use of the policy of "forced demolition" in the city of Jerusalem, to reduce the proportion of the Jerusalemite population to 12%, and to create a demographic imbalance in the city in favor of the settlers.

The specialists confirmed that the authorities have been using this policy for many years in an attempt to pressure the Jerusalemites, shutter their will, and force them to leave.

The policy of "forced demolition" is one of the most dangerous Israeli practices against the people of Jerusalem because of its devastating psychological and social effects on them, which increase their suffering and prevent them from living a decent life that is guaranteed by international laws and conventions.

The Israeli municipality deprives Jerusalemites of obtaining building permits and imposes heavy fines on them, forcing them to build without a permit.

Drawdown Jerusalemites' Presence

The specialist in Jerusalem Affairs and the member of the Defense Committee for Silwan Lands, Fakhri Abu Diab, told SAFA that Israel is seeking to implement its plan to reduce the proportion in the city to 10-12% of the total population and to keep only 25,000 Jerusalemites living in areas surrounded by settlements, without any geographical contact.

Abu Diab explained that Israel's continuation in forcing the Jerusalemites to forcibly demolish their homes aims mainly to drawdown the Palestinian presence in the city, humiliate them, and reduce their construction in a way to displace them by force.

He added that "forced demolition" constitutes double pain and suffering due to the economic, social, and psychological consequences which this policy leaves.

Israel wants to send a message to the people of Jerusalem that it is "the one who controls and has the of sovereignty in the city." It does not allow them to build, while it allows constructing thousands of settlement units for settlers.

Moreover, Abu Diab stated that Israel prevents construction in 88% of the lands in Jerusalem and considers them "green spaces", at a time when the city suffers from a natural increase in population.

He indicated that the Palestinians in Jerusalem need about 5,000 housing units annually to meet their needs.

Since the start of this year, the Israeli municipality has demolished about 150 housing facilities in the city, including around 28 structures that were self-demolished.

Adding to that, Abu Diab pointed out that there are about 23,000 houses threatened to be demolished in the city, under the pretext of unauthorized construction, meaning that one-third of Jerusalemites are at risk of displacement.

He stressed that Israel wants to create a demographic imbalance in Jerusalem in favor of settlers, and impose a new reality on the ground to make Jerusalem a Jewish capital.

Abu Diab called for the need to develop real and urgent strategies and investment projects to support and empower Jerusalemites in their city, as well as build hundreds of housing units instead of pushing them to leave and work outside the city.

Cruel and Harsh Policy

For his part, the specialist in Jerusalem Affairs Jamal Amr told SAFA that the Israeli authorities are following the policy of "forced demolition" in Jerusalem in order to break the steadfastness of Jerusalemites and displace them forcibly.

He explained that the self-demolition is a "cruel policy" by all standards, as the Jerusalemite loses all that he has saved during his life, which doubles his suffering.

He added that the Jerusalemite is forced to self-demolish his home, in order to avoid paying heavy fines to the Israeli municipality.

Amr pointed out that the authorities have escalated the policy of "forced demolition" during the current year, which led to the displacement of dozens of Jerusalemites.

Source : Safa