43-year-old Samer Dekaidek said that the Israeli municipal authorities had ordered him two months ago to remove the new section of his house, adding that he decided to carry out the demolition with his own hands after the deadline given to him expired.
Dekaidek was living with his wife, two sons and one daughter in a one-room house, including a kitchen and bathroom, before he decided to build two more rooms and another bathroom for the kids, which he had to dismantle in order to avoid paying more than 60,000 shekels in penalties if Israeli bulldozers had razed it.
“My sons are not living with me now in the house. There is no place for them.
They are living in a dormitory…Regardless of what happens, we will remain steadfast in Jerusalem city. We may destroy today, but we are going to build tomorrow, and we are not leaving the city,” the homeowner said.
Last month, five Palestinian citizens in Jerusalem had to raze their own residential and commercial structures after they received similar demolition orders.
For the impoverished Palestinians in Jerusalem, Israeli construction permits are very expensive and often impossible to obtain; therefore, many of them build homes without permits, only to later face Israeli demolition orders and costly fines.
Unable to afford the penalties, a growing number of Palestinians have faced the difficult choice of demolishing their own homes and property