A house in Beit Hanina (East Jerusalem) is to be demolished today (or in ten days — conflicting reports), displacing or leaving 160 people without homes.
A group of Palestinian-run shops just inside the Damascus gate of the Old City of East Jerusalem were given three days notice last Wednesday of their impending demolition. At the end of Ramadan (in late September), the outdoor displays that these shops have maintained were rather roughly messed up, and the shop owners were ordered to stop putting their wares in the narrow Old City alleys/streets. This is rather near the Old City house with a dominant position in the area purchased by Israel’s former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (who has been incapacitated in a nursing home for several years), from which a large Israeli flag flies… The spokesman for the Jerusalem mayor and municipality reportedly confirmed that the demolition orders for these shops were handed down by an Israeli court.
The Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barakat, is apparently serious about his threat to demolish some 200 Palestinian homes in Silwan (many or all of which were built without permits — probably because many of them were built before Israel captured the area in the 1967 war). Barakat has threatened to do this because the government insists he execute a court demolition order against an illegally-built seven-story building housing Jewish settler families in the midst of Silwan.
The Israeli military has announced its intention to resume construction of The Wall between the newish settlement of Har Gilo and the ethereally-beautiful Walajee, north-west of Bethlehem.
And, because one Wall is not enough, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said in remarks at the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting today that “we will also hold a preliminary discussion on the establishment of a barrier along the Israel-Egyptian border. Israel is the only country in the advanced world that may be reached on foot from Africa … Our decisions in the suggested framework are not designed to deny the right of war refugees’ entrance to into the State of Israel. This issue is not on the agenda and this right will be maintained. However, we will discuss the possibility of building a fence and technological obstacles along the border for several hundred kilometers. In the end, the plan, which we will decide upon at a further meeting, will be spread over several years. The work itself will begin this year” …