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Women's Voices: Shahd Q. - Property destruction

Name: Shahd Q.
Age: 25
Location: Ein Al-Luzah, Silwan, East Jerusalem
Nature of incident: Property
Date of incident: 25 September 2016

On 25 September 2016, Israeli officials oversee the self-demolition of an annex which belonged to the family of 25 year old woman from Silwan in East Jerusalem.
 
Shahd is a 25 year old woman who lives with her family in Silwan in East Jerusalem.
 
“On 29 August 2016, at around 9:00 a.m., I was having breakfast with my parents and my brother Oday (19) and the front door was open when we were suddenly surprised to see three employees from Jerusalem municipality in uniform. The employees entered the house without our permission.”
 
“We were all shocked to see the municipality employees and my father and brother rushed to the front yard and closed the door behind them so that my mother and I could put on proper clothes.”
 
“I got dressed and went outside where I saw one of the municipality employees talking disrespectfully to my father and pointing to the small annex saying it was built without a permit. The employee did not allow anyone to talk and asked us to show him our identification cards.”
 
“Another employee took pictures of the annex, from inside and outside while another employee handed my father a demolition order and asked him to check out the order with the municipality. The employee asked my father to sign the document but he refused.”
 
“My mother was terrified but she kept calm. I felt my heartbeat increased; because the soldiers were trying to provoke my father and Oday by yelling at them, and I was afraid that they ould get hurt so I kept calming down my father and Oday.”
 
“My father went twice to the municipality, but nobody was available to meet with him. He would wait for hours only to be told to come back later.”
 
“On 03 September 2016, at around 10:30 a.m. we heard a knock on the front door. My brother answered and it was an employee from the municipality. The Employee wanted to check the annex again, and took more pictures.”
 
“The employee wanted to know why we didn’t go to the Municipality to sort things out and my brother explained exactly what had happened to my father when he went. The employee handed my brother another demolition order and asked him to check out the order with Jerusalem municipality.”
 
“On 12 September 2016, my father appointed a lawyer who in turn followed up the case with the Municipality. The lawyer told my father that we had a hearing on 25 September 2016, at 9:00 a.m.”
 
“Only my father and the lawyer attended the hearing of 25 September 2016; the accusation was building without a permit, and the judge noted that the municipality sent us a warrant, with pictures of the external room from the outside, through the mail to check out the municipality, but the lawyer assured the judge that we didn’t receive anything."
 
“The court ordered us to pay 24,000 shekels fine and in return the Municipality would issue a building permit. Alternatively, the annex would be demolished and we would have to cover the demolition costs which could go up to 90,000 shekels. The third choice the court gave is was that my father demolishes the annex within 24 hours.”
 
“On 27 September 2016, at around 10:00a.m., my father and brother started to demolish the annex while the Municipality employees watched and supervised. It was very hard to demolish one’s own property, and it cost us a lot of money. Also physically it was hard work. It took my father and brother all night to turn the annex into a pile of rubble.”
 
“On 30 September 2016, at around 11:30 a.m., the municipality employees came yet again and to make sure the annex was demolished. They took pictures of the rubble and I felt disgusted by the whole thing.”

keyword: Jerusalem Women | Property Destruction