East Jerusalem: Israel wants to demolish 100 homes to build a Jewish settler park

An Israeli police officier confronts Palestinians gathering outside the Israeli Central Court in East Jerusalem (Ahmad Garabli - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  July 5, 2021

The Israeli-run municipality of Jerusalem has called for the eviction of 100 Palestinian families from their homes under the pretext that they were built without permits, Shehab news agency reported on Sunday. Once the families are evicted, said local media, they will be demolished to make way for the construction of a “biblical park” for use by illegal Jewish settlers.

According to Arieh King, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem, the municipality proposed to the Palestinian residents that they can be moved elsewhere, but they refused. “God gave us this land, and who are we to give this land to somebody else? The law is the law. Any illegal building should be demolished in Jerusalem.”

Bustan neighbourhood, he confirmed, is going to be demolished for “a park, public buildings, street lights, everything.” As a leader in the settler movement, King planning for more settlers to move to occupied Jerusalem in order to ensure that “it is the eternal Jewish capital”.

In a related issue, a group of Jewish settlers attacked Batn al-Hawa neighbourhood and broke into a Palestinian home owned by the Abu Subaih family. Protected by the Israeli occupation police, they started to install a staircase to serve the part of the building which they had stolen.

The Abu Subaih family have the original ownership document for their house, but the police have always asked them to get their documents approved by the Israeli court in order to stop acting against them. Um Kayed Abu Subaih said that the family had done this and removed the staircase, but the settlers reinstalled it again under the protection of the Israeli police.

According to local reports, six Palestinian neighbourhoods in Jerusalem are subject to demolition orders to be replaced by illegal Jewish settler projects. Indeed, in the past decade, Israel has issued at least 6,817 demolition orders to the Palestinian residents of these neighbourhoods, Fifty-three evacuation orders have been issued to the Palestinians in Batn al-Hawa neighbourhood in Silwan.

Almost 60,000 Palestinians live in Silwan in occupied Jerusalem. There are 2,800 illegal settlers in 78 settlement clusters.

All Jewish settlements and settlers are illegal under international law.