Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not given the Jerusalem municipality permission to demolish homes in the eastern Arab neighborhoods on the basis of political reasons, Mayor Nir Barkat said on Tuesday.
“As of now, the Prime Minister’s Bureau does not permit the demolition of homes,” Barkat told the State Control Committee. “The bottom line is that the Jerusalem municipality can not carry out any demolitions unless accompanied by the police.”
This was the first time Barkat has openly admitted to the fact that the Prime Minister’s Bureau has interfered with the matter of home demolitions in East Jerusalem. The city carried out just 20 home demolitions in the last year, compared to an average of 70 to 100 in the years prior.