Locked Out: A Critical Look into the Grand Residential Projects of East-Jerusalem

Rana Hadieh
Saad Ameerh
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Al-Quds University - Deanship of Scientific Research
Background:Palestinians living in East-Jerusalem are constantly on edge, the fear of losing their homes lingers continuously. Palestinians face the threat of losing their homes at the hands of the Israeli occupation which sends out home demolition orders for families and justifies it with the absence of a permit. This is a systematic and institutionalized form of violence of an occupying power; however, one would expect Palestinian landowners and the owners of rented apartment buildings in East-Jerusalem to facilitate the residency of Palestinians knowing how hard it is to own a home or find one in this city. This is why I was surprised when I found out that the building that my grandmother has lived in for years, and the one that is sustaining 4-5 businesses on the first floor is to be demolished soon by the owner, to build a grand residential project. What has inspired the emergence of all of these grand projects throughout recent years? How is the establishment of these projects facilitated and granted a building permit by Israel, when Palestinian families are not given a permit to build a home the size of a bedroom? I introduce this topic through the story of my grandmother, who is facing possible displacement because the apartment she has been living in for years is going to be turned into a huge residential complex, she now has to face the sudden changes of moving into a different home, leaving the one that she has lived in all of her life.