JERUSALEM, Thursday, April 08, 2021 (WAFA) – More than 100 Israeli settlers protected by police took over very early this morning three buildings and a plot of land in Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, according to Wadi Hilweh Information Center.
The Silwan-based center said the settlers broke into the three buildings, which were not inhabited at the time, and the plot of land where they set up two pre-fab rooms and a stairway, as they opened a hole in the wall to one of the buildings.
The police secured the settlers’ takeover of the buildings and land and provided them with protection as they moved into them, said the center.
It said each of the buildings has four floors and their owners have claimed that they sold them to other people few months ago and that they had no idea that they would be leaked to Aterat Cohanim settlement group that is active in taking over Palestinian-owned buildings and lands in occupied East Jerusalem.
Settlers have so-far taken over 12 Palestinian-owned buildings in the heart of Silwan since 2014, said Wadi Hilweh Information Center.
While the Israeli occupation municipality refuses to allow Palestinians to build or restore their buildings in Silwan, settlers often are able to re-construct the buildings they take over and expand them with consent from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem.
Currently hundreds of Palestinian-owned houses in different areas of Silwan, but mainly in Batn al-Hawa, Wadi Hilweh, and al-Bustan areas, are under threat of demolition by the Israeli municipality for construction without permit.
However, Palestinians believe the demolition orders are part of a large-scale Israeli ethnic cleansing scheme intended to empty Silwan of its Palestinian residents to eventually inhabit it with Israeli settlers and turn it into what it calls the City of David.