Friday, February 6

Itidal's home: waiting for the court desicion

Lawyer Rasha Asaf of the Popular Committee Against Home Demolitions has appealed to the emergency judge to make a temporary ruling against the demolition of Itidal's home this coming sunday.
Although an appeal has been filed some days ago, to ask the judge responsible for the case, for more time, this judge selected not to make a decision.
As the demolition is planned for Sunday, making no decision is in fact, making a decision and telling the demolishers to go along and carry out their ugly job: destroying the home of a gravely ill mother and her two school age children, who have nowhere else to go.

Rasha is doing all she can to prevent the demolition of the home. We hope the emergency judge will make a favourable decision, which will at lest buy Itidal and her kids some time.
Yet, if necessary, we may have to barricade. Those of you in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, stay in touch.

The background story:
Karmeh Dalek is the site of an ancient orange grove in Jaffa, owned by the Dalek family. The ownership of the land is private today, although complicated as a result of all kinds of actions carried out by various entities to whom the different members of the Dalek family own money or do not own money. (imagine a plate of legal spaghetti). There is no actual municipal building plan for the area. The general idea is to demolish and rebuild, yet the municipality never bothered to carry out an actual city plan. As a result, it is impossible to obtain a building permit. The city's building department has no organised file for the various buildings on the site and their documentation is less than sparse. Over time, rooms have been added, porches closed off and who knows what else.
The place looks like a refugee camp consisting of hovels and temporary buildings added to older existing structures, but no one exactly knows when what was constructed. An no one includes the municipality. They cannot actually prove which building exists since when. the buildings have no actual addresses, nor home numbers. This burocratic disregard should actually buy Itidal some time, as it is unclear the demolition order really relates to her home. The technical details could well relate any other house in the area.
Why they selected her is not clear. Legally speaking the municipal case is weak, as they have little actual proof.
The people living in the Dalek grove are poor. They cannot buy or rent housing elsewhere. And as they "have housing", they are not eligible for public housing or rent assistance in quite a few cases.
So people added rooms, made doors or windows where there were none, added a roof here or there. By the city books these are "crimes".
By those same city books, terminally ill Itidal is a criminal, who "needs to be punished" for illegally providing a home to herself and her kids.

Yet the true criminal is the municipality, whose negligence and disregard for Jaffa's poor population has created a situation in which they CANNOT get building permits to build on their own land, because that very same municipality has not bothered to make a housing plan for the area, thereby creating a burocratic cycle from which escape is impossible.

No comments: