Under cover of night, nine Jewish families take over two buildings in Silwan


Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization

Nine more Jewish families take over Silwan homes in dead of night
972mag 20 Oct by Mairav Zonszein — If settling Jews beyond the Green Line in Palestinian East Jerusalem is legitimate, why are organizations sneaking in settlers in the middle of the night? — Nine Jewish Israeli families took over two empty buildings in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem overnight Sunday. According to the NGO Ir Amim, the families took control over 10 housing units in two buildings in the heart of Silwan. They moved in under the auspices of Ateret Cohanim, a settler organization based in the Muslim quarter of the Old City that works to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem. This latest takeover comes less than a month after settlers moved into seven houses in another part of Silwan, also in the dead of night and backed by heavy security forces, courtesy of Elad, another East Jerusalem settler organization. These new moves double the number of Jews currently living in Silwan, according to Israeli media. There were no reports of confrontations during the takeover Sunday night. According to Haaretz, the buildings were purchased in the last year by foreign companies at the behest of the Committee for the Renewal of the Yemenite Village, which looks to restore the Yemenite community that lived in the area before the establishment of the State of Israel. This is similar to the warped rationale behind moving Jews back into the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah — which exposes the discriminatory practice in which Jews can reclaim lands from before 1948 in East Jerusalem but Palestinians cannot do the same in West Jerusalem — or anywhere throughout Israel.

By hook or by crook, settlers rack up E. Jerusalem gains
JERUSALEM (AFP) 22 Oct by Shatha Yaish –By fair means or foul, Jewish settlers are notching up property gains in the heart of Arab east Jerusalem through a series of shady deals involving frontmen or straw companies. The process by which such properties are acquired is shrouded in mystery, with the new Jewish occupants often moving in under the cover of darkness to avoid a major confrontation with residents. The latest controversial acquisitions took place in Silwan, a densely populated Palestinian neighbourhood on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. In the past three weeks, hardline settlers have moved into 35 apartments there, sparking anger and consternation among Palestinians who vehemently oppose such moves as a hostile attempt to Judaise Silwan. Some were allegedly acquired fraudulently, and others legally. Jewish groups buying up property in the heart of Arab neighbourhoods is an explosive political issue because it touches on the future of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as capital of a future state. The groups are looking to establish a contiguous Jewish presence in the area, thereby preventing any future division of the Holy City under a peace deal with the Palestinians.  ‘We didn’t know’  One of the structures taken over in Silwan this week was a three-storey building owned by the Rajabi family, which had been looking to sell the property and its adjoining land. Because the neighbourhood is very close to the Old City and the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third-holiest site in Islam, the family was looking for a Palestinian buyer. One day, a man whose family is known for its commitment to the Palestinian cause approached them. “He said he wanted to buy it for his cousin who lives in Dubai,” Zuheir al-Rajabi said, explaining how they agreed to sell it for 450,000 Jordanian dinars ($635,000 / €500,000). Today he realises it was a mistake. “I hate myself for selling, people are accusing us of knowingly selling” to the settlers, he said. On Tuesday, his family paid for an advertisement in the main Palestinian newspaper showing the purchase agreement with the name of the buyer and insisting they had no knowledge of the true nature of the sale. “We should have been more careful but we cannot take it back. The settlers are like a cancer which spreads through the body until it dies,” Rajabi said. Selling land to Israeli settlers is viewed as treason by the Palestinians and carries a penalty of life imprisonment with heavy labour. There have been several cases in which the perpetrators have been killed … Today, around 500 settlers live in Silwan among a population of 45,000 and the recent acquisitions have triggered a flood of protest among the Palestinians as well as from abroad.

Palestinians attack new E. Jerusalem settler homes
JERUSALEM (AFP) 21 Oct — Palestinians hurled Molotov cocktails at an apartment building in a flashpoint east Jerusalem neighbourhood just hours after it was taken over by Jewish settlers, police said Tuesday. No one was injured in the incident in the Silwan neighbourhood late on Monday, which saw a group of Palestinians firing flares and throwing petrol bombs at the building, a police statement said. No serious damage was caused and no arrests were made. The building was one of two structures housing 10 apartments that were taken over by Jewish settlers before dawn on Monday, sparking fierce local opposition. Such takeovers have also been strongly condemned by the international community. Silwan is a densely populated Palestinian neighbourhood that flanks the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City….

– See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/jewish-families-buildings#sthash.kETnXrJx.dpuf

About Leeds PSC3