The Jerusalemite citizen approached St. Yves in 2013 as soon as the Jerusalem District Court brought an indictment against him, seeking legal assistance and intervention. The accusation was for building a house that does not have an Israeli permit and living in it; thus the court issued a huge fine against him and warned to imprison him and demolish his house, making him and his family homeless.
St. Yves approached the Jerusalem District Court with proof that the social and financial living conditions of the family are very difficult, making it impossible for them to meet the licensing requirements. After a legal battle that lasted 4 years, St. Yves succeeded in freezing all legal procedures planned against him and his family, and most importantly freezing the demolition order.
Israel upholds extremely discriminatory policies against Palestinians in Jerusalem in planning, zoning, and administration, by which obtaining a building permit is mandatory to build, yet the system is designed in a way that makes it nearly impossible to obtain one so that when Palestinians request permission to build on their own properties it is in most cases refused. House demolition policies in East Jerusalem are tied to Israel’s “demographic balance” policy: reducing, fragmenting and isolating as much as possible the Palestinian presence in order to maintain a Jewish majority in Jerusalem.
For more information about house demolitions procedures and frameworks read: