Jewish settler group Elad is Israel’s weapon to evict Palestinians from Silwan

Israeli bulldozers backed by police forces tear down a Palestinian house in Silwan town in East Jerusalem (Mostafa Alkharouf -Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 28, 2022

Elad Jewish settler organization, also known as Ir David Foundation, is Israel’s weapon to steal Palestinian lands, including private land owned by Palestinians who fled Israeli aggression in 1948 or 1967.

The pro-settlement Israeli association was established in 1986, and has been operating mainly in the occupied Palestinian village of Silwan in East Jerusalem, south of the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

It has been working to create new and expand already existed illegal Jewish settlements, Safa news agency says, noting that it is currently overseeing about 70 settlement posts in the city of Silwan.

A website for an Israeli NGO, Emek Shaveh, which works on maintaining cultural heritage, said that Elad’s proclaimed mission is the Judaization of Silwan and the creation of a contiguous Jewish presence along the southern slopes of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which it refers to as the Temple Mount.

According to Haaretz, former Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit agreed in 2018 to offer the pro-settler Elad a foothold at the archaeological park next to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Elad based its operations on the Absentee Property Act, which was ratified in 1950 and stipulates that the property of Palestinians who fled Jewish militia attacks between November 1947 and September 1948, is automatically transferred to the Israeli Custodian for Absentee Property.

It also uses the lands of the Jewish National Funds (JNF), which claimed that it purchased land between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. This way, Elad has claimed ownership of a large number of Palestinian homes and properties.

Elad seized the first Palestinian houses in 1991, and with the help of the Israeli government and police, the Palestinian residents were left on the street.

In the case of the Abbasi family, an Israeli court ruled that Elad’s takeover of the Palestinian house was fraudulent and illegal.