Self-Demolition in Jerusalem: Between the hammer and the anvil

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East Jerusalem faces similar push factors as “Area C” of the West Bank, in terms of settlement expansion, discriminatory road networks and closures, demolition and displacement issues, as well as other indirect push factors specific to Jerusalemites involving violations to their social-economic rights (i.e. child registration, family reunification, burdensome taxation, health insurance, etc.). These factors are collectively intended to create a coercive environment for Palestinians, forcing them to leave their city. These tactics, which are facilitated through discriminatory legislation, form part of Israel’s announced “2020 Master Plan” to sway demographics in the city to its favor.

This factsheet by hbs-partner the Jerusalem Center for Human Rights (JCHR) explores the escalating trend of so-called “self-demolitions,” whereby Palestinians are forced to demolish their own homes with their own hands. It explores the motives behind the increasing number of Palestinians who are driven to demolish their own homes, including the amendment to the Israeli Planning and Construction Law and the Kamenitz Law. It also assesses the impact on specific families that were forced to demolish their own homes over the past few years and attempts to examine this policy within Israel’s larger planning system that makes it virtually impossible for Palestinian to obtain building permits. “Self-demolition,” JCHR argues, is a symptom of this exclusionary and discriminatory system.

Product details
Date of Publication
September, 2022
The Jerusalem Center for Human Rights (JCHR)
Number of Pages
All rights reserved
Language of publication