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Women's Voices: Ayda T. - Property destruction

Name: Ayda T.
Age: 62
Location: Silwan
Nature of incident: Property destruction
Date of incident: 19 July 2016

On 19 July 2016, Israel forces surround the house of 62 year old widow from Silwan at 4:00am and demolish a shack used by her son as an auto repair shop without notice.
 
Ayda is a 62 year old widow from Silwan in East Jerusalem.
 
“In 2010, my son built a shack on a small piece of land that we own next to our house. He wanted to use it as an auto repair shop to supplement our income. For over 4 years, my son tried to obtain a permit for the shack and paid 100,000 shekels in fees but the Municipality did not issue a building permit because of alleged zoning reasons.”
 
“On 19 July 2016, at around 4:00am, I woke up to the sound of commotion outside the house. I went to see what was going on and saw a huge number of Israeli police and soldiers accompanied by a bulldozer surrounding the house. I was terrified of the scene and felt pain in my stomach. One policeman greeted me and I asked him what they were doing here as I was worried they had come to arrest someone. The policeman ignored me.”
 
“Shortly afterwards a bulldozer started to knock down the shack without explanation and without prior notice. We were not given time to remove anything from the shack and all the contents got buried under the rubble. Our financial loss was huge.”
 
“Our neighbors woke up to the noise and gathered I the area but the policemen pushed them back into their homes. The demolition went on until around 7:00am and the bulldozer moved on to demolish our neighbours’ structures. We all stood by and did nothing; we were scared that if we resisted tear gas would be fired at us.”
 
“One day earlier about 10 Israeli policemen raided my house at 1:30am and arrested my two sons Karim (28) and Oday (18) without giving any explanation.”
“I live in constant fear. The arrest of my two sons and the demolition of the shack came as a total shock to me as there was no prior warning.”

keyword: Jerusalem Women | Property Destruction