UN to Israel: Stop Demolition of E. Jerusalem Homes

City planning crisis means thousands of illegally built Palestinian houses
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted May 1, 2009 11:30 AM CDT
Palestinian construction workers build a new building complex to be housed by Israelis in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, Monday, April 27, 2009.   (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
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(Newser) – In East Jerusalem, overcrowding and strict rules about where Palestinians can build houses have led to the illegal construction of thousands of homes. Nearly a third of all Palestinian homes in the sector, occupied by some 60,000 people, were  built without permits. In response, the city government has issued orders to tear down about 1,500 homes, a move the United Nations is asking Israel to stop, reports the BBC.

Jerusalem’s mayor insists that the law is enforced equally and says the city’s planning crisis “affects Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.” The city will roll out a master plan soon, but in the meantime, already-ordered demolitions threaten to leave 9,000 people homeless, half of them children, according to the UN.