Following the High Court’s ruling to destroy Amona due to the town being built on private land, the Jerusalem Municipality’s legal adviser submitted a request to the court for an immediate execution of judicial demolition orders for 14 illegal structures in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Approximately 40 families live in those structures.
The appeal includes a request to rescind a delay in the execution of the judicial demolition orders, which are managed by the Administrator General of the State, and the authorization of the local committee to carry out the demolitions.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has stated that he supports the effort to find a legal way to save Amona.”The judgement on Amona does not leave us with much discretion to allow for the legalization of illegal construction even in cases where there is no owner.” the Mayor explained, saying that thousands of Arab homes in Jerusalem would be subject to demolition if the same standards were applied to them as were used to justify the demolition of Amona.
“There cannot be one law for Jews and another law for Arabs.” the mayor declared.
There are currently hundreds of cases of Jewish land-owners suing to get their property back from Arab squatters in Jerusalem.
Before the High Court’s Amona decision the authorities and the courts would grant extensions to the demolition orders in order to facilitate the preparation of the proper plans and permits to legalize the structures. City Hall says that after the court’s decision to destroy Amona without delay it will now work to carry out court-issued demolition orders instead of seeking or issuing delays.
Barkat sent a letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit last week seeking clarification on what the Amona ruling means for the thousands of instances of illegal Arab construction in Jerusalem.