Netanyahu said to delay demolition of East Jerusalem building

View of buildings in East Jerusalem, February 1, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
View of buildings in East Jerusalem, February 1, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decides to delay the planned demolition of an East Jerusalem building amid concerns such a move could set off clashes among residents and security forces, Hebrew media reports.

The Jerusalem municipality confirms to The Times of Israel that the demolition has been delayed, but refuses to say why.

According to activists and Hebrew media reports, the building houses around 100 Palestinians in the Wadi Kadum neighborhood.

The building, constructed in 2014 without a permit, has been slated for demolition by city authorities for several years, but the move has been repeatedly delayed. Residents were told in May 2022 that they must evacuate within days, but the demolition was never carried out.

Hebrew media reports say Netanyahu overruled National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir who had been pressing for the move to go ahead tomorrow.

Ben Gvir, of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, has vowed to crack down on illegal building by Palestinians and Arab Israelis. Following the deadly terrorist attack in a Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhood last month, Ben Gvir declared that he would press to carry out the demolition of illegally constructed buildings in the area already slated for destruction.

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