Israel yesterday handed demolition orders to ten families in Al-Bustan, in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Fakhri Abu-Dyab, a member of the Committee to Defend Silwan Land, said that “the employees of the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem distributed the demolition orders, that included my own house,” Felesteen reported.
Abu-Dyab said that the target houses are only 400 metres from Al-Aqsa Mosque, stressing that Israel is planning to evacuate Silwan of its Palestinian residents as part of a “systematic” policy.
He added that 1,600 Palestinians live in 88 houses in Al-Bustan, most of which have received demolition orders at some point.
About 50,000 Palestinians live in Silwan, which constitutes around 5,640 dunams (1394 acres). Only 67 per cent of buildings in the neighbourhood were granted building licenses since 1967 – when Israel occupied East Jerusalem – while hundreds of other houses were denied licenses altogether. Meanwhile, Abu-Dyab said that Israel has allowed Jewish settlers to build 56 houses in Silwan.