(JNS.org) The Jerusalem municipality and Israeli security forces are reportedly planning a large-scale demolition of an illegal Arab neighborhood constructed in the northernmost area of the Israeli capital.
Israel’s Kan 11 television channel reported Sunday that six illegally constructed high-rise apartment buildings in the neighborhood of Kafr Aqab have been designated for demolition.
While Kafr Aqab is under full Israeli sovereignty, it is located on the opposite side of Israel’s security fence along the border with the disputed territories, and is difficult for Israeli authorities to access. Due to the neighborhood’s location, illegal construction in Kafr Aqab is commonplace.
The six apartment buildings slated for demolition were built without any official approval from the Jerusalem municipality, and will be destroyed using controlled explosions in a joint operation by the municipality, Israel Police, IDF and Shin Bet security agency.
According to Kan 11, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has promoted the initiative.
“The demolition orders were issued months ago against [the buildings], which had been built illegally and without building permits and which had no residents [when the orders were issued], and which today are still largely empty,” said a spokesperson from the mayor’s office.
Following the demolition, a new highway will purportedly be constructed in the area.