Israel Demolishes Hundreds of Palestinian Houses in Silwan

Photo: M Shaaban/MINA

Jerusalem, MINA – Fakhri Abu Diab, a member of the Silwan Land Defense Committee, described 2021 as one of the worst years for the occupied city of Jerusalem in general and Silwan  neighborhood in particular, in light of the Israeli occupation’s continued targeting and demolitions of Palestinian citizens in the city.

Abu Diab said that the occupation targets the Palestinians of Jerusalem with ethnic cleansing and the liquidation of the Palestinian presence, but Silwan is targeted more, especially as it is adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque from the south and southeast, MINA Contributor in Gaza reported.

He added that the occupation ordered the demolition of 318 homes in Silwan during 2021, bringing the total of homes demolished in the town to 7800, whether by occupation bulldozers or forcing citizens to self-demolish them or paying heavy fines if they refused to do so.

Abu Diab reported that the occupation displaced about 350 people, including 60% of children, who became homeless, due to the demolition of their homes during 2021.

He explained that the occupation wants, by targeting Silwan, to expel the Palestinians who are defending Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City of Jerusalem and to establish its “Holy Basin” project, which is 82% of its area in the town.

According to Abu Diab, the occupation has prosecuted 90 Palestinian families and imposed fines on them for “building violations” amounting to 4.5 million shekels during 2021 only, bringing the total amount to about 13 million and 700 thousand shekels.

He stated that the occupation confiscated in Silwan, which extends over 5,640 dunams, about 816 dunums of settlement associations and the so-called Nature Authority and the various occupation institutions.

The occupation authorities issue orders of demolition of Palestinian facilities under various pretexts, most notably “building without a permit,” but they often refuse to grant those licenses to Jerusalemites.

In this regard, Abu Diab revealed that the occupation did not give any permission to the people in Silwan during the year 2021, despite the fact that 320 people submitted requests and met all the required police, at a time when Israeli settlements were being built and expanded in the town.

In a related context, Abu Diab revealed to Shehab that 150 homes in Silwan are threatened with demolition by the occupation forces at any moment, and thus the displacement of thousands of Palestinian citizens.

This year, the occupation dug in Silwan, according to Abu Diab, a tunnel from the Silwan center towards Al-Aqsa Mosque, in addition to 22 other excavations in the area.

He pointed out that the occupation completed the establishment of the so-called “Biblical Museum” in the Al-Ain area in central Silwan, during the current year, while settlers seized 6 buildings in the town and tried to close a street in the center of the area. (LKG/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)