[News] Israeli forces raze Jerusalem homes, leaving 40 Palestinians destitute

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue May 10 12:39:28 EDT 2022


middleeasteye.net
<https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-palestine-jerusalem-silwan-raze-homes-destitute>
Israeli forces raze Jerusalem homes, leaving 40 Palestinians destitute
By MEE staff - May 10, 2022
------------------------------

Members of the Rajabi family are forced out of their homes and made to
watch Israeli bulldozers levelling them

[image: Israeli machinery demolish the home of Palestinian family in the
East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan on 10 May 2022. (Afp)]

Israeli machinery demolishes the home of a Palestinian family in the East
Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan on 10 May 2022 (AFP)

Published date: 10 May 2022 15:38 UTC | Last update: 22 mins 52 secs ago

More than 40 Palestinians
<https://www.middleeasteye.net/countries/palestine> were made homeless on
Tuesday after Israeli <https://www.middleeasteye.net/countries/israel>
forces razed their homes in occupied
<https://www.middleeasteye.net/topics/occupation> East Jerusalem.

Early in the morning, Israeli forces and bulldozers arrived at the Silwan
town
<https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-palestine-silwan-explained-history-religion-exploited-displaced>
and removed residents of a three-storey building owned by the Rajabi family
ahead of its demolition.

Residents had little time to move their belongings, an eyewitness told
Middle East Eye, and were assaulted by police for resisting the demolition
along with neighbours who arrived at the scene to show support.

At least five people sustained wounds from beatings in the Israeli
crackdown, with one transferred to the hospital, the Palestine Red Crescent
Society (PRSC) said.

Footage shared on social media by local activists and journalists showed
distraught members of the Rajabi family as they watched their homes being
knocked down.

"The family has lost everything," said Fakhri Abu Diab, the head of the
Silwan Lands Defence Committee who was present during the demolition.

"They lost their past, their memories, their belongings and their home.
They are now [living] in the open," Abu Diab told MEE.

'[The family] lost their past, their memories, their belongings and their
home. They are now in the open'

- *Fakhri Abu Diab, activist*

Israeli authorities had issued a demolition order against the house, built
in 2001 and owned by Osama Rajabi, under the pretext of a lack of a
building permit.

The building contained five residential units where Rajabi and his four
sons lived with their families.

The family rejects the claim that the building was unauthorised, saying
they have been paying taxes to the municipality for over 20 years like
every other house in the city.
Mass expulsions

Hundreds of families in Silwan, located south of the al-Aqsa Mosque in
Jerusalem’s Old City, are facing the threat of expulsion by Israeli
authorities.

The strategic town spanning 6,540 dunums is home to more than 60,000
Palestinians.

Israel has grand plans for the area, intending to build a string of tourist
parks, themed around biblical stories and figures, in the neighbourhoods of
al-Bustan, Wadi al-Rababa, Batn al-Hawa and Wadi Hilweh.

The municipality claims that around 100 houses in the al-Bustan
neighbourhood were illegally built and must be removed to clear the area
for a park under the name of "King’s Garden
<https://www.btselem.org/jerusalem/national_parks_al_bustan_garden_of_the_king>
".

<https://www.middleeasteye.net/video/silwan-jerusalem-soul-silent-war#autoplay>

Silwan: A silent war for Jerusalem’s soul

Israelis claim that the area was the site of the biblical garden of King
David.

According to Abu Diab, there are more than 7,820 demolition orders -
between administrative and legal - in Silwan, putting thousands of people
at the risk of displacement.

Administrative demolition orders by Israeli authorities in the occupied
West Bank and East Jerusalem are often based on the grounds of residents
not having a building permit.

However, the Israeli government makes it virtually impossible for
Palestinians to get those permits, while at the same time announcing and
expanding settlements for its citizens.

Israel's control of East Jerusalem, including the Old City, violates
several principles under international law, which stipulates that an
occupying power has no sovereignty in the territory it occupies and cannot
make any permanent changes there.

"This demolition breaches international law because it took place in an
area considered occupied," Abu Diab said.

"But where is international law? Where is the international community? We
no longer trust them," he added.

"People have nothing to lose and [these violations] will push them to react
and the international community bears the responsibility for it."
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