JERUSALEM, Monday, October 4, 2021 (WAFA) - A Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem was forced to demolish his own house in Sour Baher, south of the city of Jerusalem, to avoid paying high costs and fines after he received a demolition order from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem. The house owner, Mohammed al-Khatib, said the Israeli municipality forced him to tear down his 80-square-meter house under the pretext of construction without a permit or else it will demolish it and obligate him to pay the exorbitant costs. The owner said that he has spent approximately more than $24,000 in legal fees to appeal the demolition decision of his house while the Israeli municipality first told him to continue work on the house but then kept renewing the freezing and halting of construction orders until it issued a final decision to demolish the house. Using the pretext of building without a permit, which is rarely granted to Palestinians in the occupied city, the Israeli municipality has condemned hundreds of Palestinian-owned houses as part of a policy aimed to restrict Palestinian expansion and number in occupied Jerusalem. At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem for Jews with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city. T.R.