Israeli Jewish settlers took over a Palestinian home in Wadi Al-Hilwa neighbourhood in the Jerusalem town of Silwan on Friday, Felesteen.ps has reported. The area is adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.
“A group of settlers, escorted by Israeli security forces, entered the neighbourhood, completely encircled it, took over the house and changed its door locks,” said a spokesperson for Wadi Al-Hilwa Information Centre.
In a related escalation, the Israeli occupation municipality in Jerusalem handed over demolition orders to a number of Palestinian families in Al-Bustan neighbourhood, also in Silwan. Fakhri Abu-Dyab, a spokesman for the Committee in Defence of Silwan, confirmed reports about the orders handed to the Palestinian families in several neighbourhoods. “All of the 88 house in Al-Bustan neighbourhood are currently under threat of demolition,” he wrote on Facebook. “Its 1,500 residents are set to be displaced.”
Abu-Dyab said that the Israeli occupation municipality in the holy city is planning to demolish the houses in order to create a “biblical garden” as part of a plan for what is called “the holy basin” of religious sites of alleged significance to Jews.
Over the years of its occupation, Israel has taken over dozens of Palestinian homes in Silwan in its attempts to Judaise the city. Official Israeli statistics give the population of Jerusalem in 2015 as 850,000, of which 534,000 are Jews and 316,000 are Palestinians.