Indy accepts false Palestinian claim on Jerusalem building permits

A video report in the Independent (“Palestinian bride holds wedding at ruins of her Jerusalem house demolished by Israeli authorities”, June 12), by Eleonora Girotto, included the unchallenged claim that “it is almost impossible [for Palestinians in Jerusalem] to get building authorisation from the city, forcing them to build homes without permits”.

As CAMERA has previously demonsrated, this assertion – attributed in the article to annonymous “Palestinians” – is contradicted by the data.  In fact, the proportion of the total permits issued in east Jerusalem that went to Palestinian neighborhoods in that part of the city (where most Jerusalem Palestinians live) has averaged around 40% in recent years.

A chart based on data the Jerusalem municipality shared with Peace Now shows a distinct upward trend in the proportion of permits that went to Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem.

As the following chart from the anti-settlement group Peace Now shows, in the most recent year of available data, 2018, the rate of construction permit approvals for Palestinian neighborhoods in east Jerusalem (841) exceeded approvals for Jewish neighborhoods in that part of the city (780).

So, clearly, the claim that “it is almost impossible to get building authorisation from the city” is not accurate.

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