|Why do you demolish Arab houses ?|
|The Municipality of Jerusalem demolishes buildings or parts of buildings for reasons of urban planning, not for security matters.|
In western Jerusalem, building violations almost invariably consist of additions to legal buildings. In eastern Jerusalem, they typically take the form of whole buildings constructed without a permit. Thus, demolitions of Arab owned houses in eastern Jerusalem are far more dramatic and attract more media attention than in the western part of the city.
Municipal policy is to issue demolition orders only where illegal buildings are not yet occupied and where they interfere with plans for public facilities such as schools or roads, or with the city's historical heritage. In cases where a permit would be granted if applied for, because the area is zoned for housing, we encourage the owner to apply and bring the building into the legal sphere. In cases where a building is demolished, proper legal procedures are followed, including obtaining court orders.
60% of applications for building permits received from Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem are granted, as opposed to 67% of those received from Jewish residents. Many applications are not followed up, because of the necessity of paying fees, which may be less than the fine imposed if the case is taken to court.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION SEE THE ''BURNING ISSUES'' SECTION OF BEHIND THE NEWS - ''HOUSING IN JERUSALEM''.