Ismailia demolitions suspended

Ismailia–Authorities have reportedly suspended orders issued by the Irrigation Ministry for the demolition of some 300 buildings in the coastal city of West Qantara. According to the ministry, the buildings lack licenses and were built on ministry property.

Sources say the demolition orders were suspended in order to avert protests by local residents.

"Our homes don’t obstruct anything," complained resident Abdel Fattah Hassan. "We’ve been paying our electricity and water bills–and our real estate taxes–for years."

Ansaf Mohamed, another resident, said: "Why did the government suddenly take this decision after we’ve lived here for 50 years?"

Irrigation Ministry Undersecretary Saeed Abdel Azim, for his part, insisted that the ministry had the legal right to order the demolitions.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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