Barkat says will seal Beit Yehonatan (Pollard's House)

Mayor to implement sealing orders on illegal structures built by both Jews and Arabs in east Jerusalem

Ronen Medzini - YNET News February 3, 2010

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has informed State Prosecutor Moshe Lador that he plans to implement the sealing order for Beit Yehonatan in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, which was built without a permit in 2004 and which houses Jewish residents.

However, Barkat added that he would also implement orders against illegal structures built by Arabs in the area, so as not to act in a discriminatory manner.

"Although the sealing order, in light of the dozens of demolition orders which are not being enforced, constitutes, in my eyes, a selective and discriminatory enforcement, Jerusalem Municipality will act according to court orders and implement the sealing orders on Beit Yehonatan as well as other standing orders," Barkat wrote to Lador.

Beit Yehonatan has been home to Jewish residents since 2007, and they continue to live there despite the conflict surrounding them.

Barkat wrote to the state prosecutor in response to the latter's letter of condemnation, which focuses on the mayor's refusal to enforce court orders.

"I was sorry to hear that even at such a time as this, the city of Jerusalem has not yet made sure that court orders in all of their forms, including four Supreme Court orders are honored and carried out in this affair," Lador wrote to Barkat.

The state prosecutor explained that Beit Yehonatan "was built from beginning to end with total disrespect for planning and construction rules, by those who refuse to reveal their identity and only reveal their causes the demonstrators who demonstrate presence' in the area by residing there".

The municipality's Opposition Chairman Meir Turgeman filed a police complaint against the mayor last month for refusing to carry out court orders and for interfering with legal proceedings. "The mayor is belittling the law and the court," he told Ynet.