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Illegal Arab Building Demolished in Jerusalem

Signs of tougher enforcement? Illegal Arab building in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina demolished by the municipality.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 10/30/2013, 9:20 AM

Demolition in Jerusalem (file)
Demolition in Jerusalem (file)
Jerusalem Municipality

At 4 AM Tuesday morning, municipal building inspectors, accompanied by a large police force, demolished an illegal Arab building in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of Jerusalem, located in the north part of the city.

The police detained Hajj Amin Shwaiki, owner of the building which housed around 20 people, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency.

The municipality released a statement according to which the 500 square-meter building was built illegally without permits. Legal processes began against the building in 2003 when construction began, and the destruction was ordered by a court.

Additionally, NRG reports that 7 new demolition orders were given for illegal buildings in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan, adjacent to Jerusalem's Old City. 

The demolition and 7 destruction orders come on the heels of municipal elections, and perhaps show a new posture of tougher enforcement of the building law among the Arab sector.

Besides putting incumbent Nir Barkat in the mayor's seat for second term, the elections also saw one of the foremost advocates for implementation of demolition orders against rampant illegal construction by Arabs, Aryeh King, elected to the city council. King's "United Jerusalem" list won two seats.

King has called for expanding the Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem, and during his campaign for the Knesset elections with the Otzmah Leyisrael party he released a video decrying illegal Arab building specifically in Beit Hanina (video in Hebrew):