Israeli police this morning forced a Palestinian family out of their house in the Silwan neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, WAFA reported.
Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Centre posted a video showing occupation forces and settlers storming the house and assaulting the family members to seize their home. The centre reported that the Siyam family refused to comply with the eviction order and at least one family member was detained. Jawad Siyam is the director of the Wadi Hilweh Information Centre and was detained in Silwan along with three other Palestinians in the neighbourhood.
The Siyam family had been battling a right-wing Israeli settlement group for 25 years to remain in their family home. The Elad Association is notorious for its efforts to encourage Jewish settlement in Silwan, located just outside the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Elad also confiscated money raised to help the Siyam family fight their eviction order, Haaretz reported on Monday.
Parts of the Siyam family’s building were seized by the state under Israel’s Absentee Property Law – which declares properties belonging to Palestinians who were displaced, often by war or poverty, as “absentee” and therefore state property. These parts of the family home were then sold to Elad.
The eviction came 20 days after an Israeli court ruled in favour of Elad and dismissed the Siyam family’s appeal to remain in their home.
Israel has illegally occupied East Jerusalem, where the Siyam family home is located, since the 1967 war. In 1980, the Jewish state annexed the entire city, claiming it as its “eternal and undivided” capital, a move never recognised by the international community.
In December 2017, US President Donald Trump unilaterally declared Jerusalem Israel’s undivided capital and in May 2018 moved the US embassy to the Holy City. Since then, in contravention of international law, Tel Aviv has increased its Judaisation policies in the occupied city.