13 Palestinian Families at Risk of Displacement in Silwan

The deadline set by the Israeli occupation authorities ends today for 13 Palestinian families who received orders to self-demolish their homes in the occupied Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

Earlier this month, the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem handed over notifications of renewal of house demolition notices belonging to 13 families in Silwan. Israeli courts issued demolition orders against 86 Palestinian homes.

The Israeli municipality has threatened to demolish the 13 houses after the deadline and to fine their owners the demolition costs.

This is part of the policy of ethnic cleansing of Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem, which aims at changing the demographic structure and increasing the number of Jewish settlers in Jerusalem.

In the Al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, 119 families live in 88 buildings that are under threat of demolishment to make way for an Israeli archaeological park.

The Jerusalem Municipality has already officially changed Al-Bustan’s name to Gan Hamelekh (The King’s Garden), claiming that it was a garden for Israelite kings thousands of years ago.

Located to the south of Jerusalem’s Old City, adjacent to its walls, Silwan has a population of about 33,000 Palestinian citizens and has been targeted by Israeli settler organizations for years. In some cases, Palestinian residents have been forced to share homes with Jewish settlers.

Israel’s widely practiced policy of home demolitions and destruction of other property targets entire families. Such demolitions are regarded as illegal collective punishment and are a violation of international human rights law.

Source: Palestine Chronicle