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Sunday, October 17, 2021

‘Ongoing Nakba’: Israel begins demolitions of Palestinian structures in Silwan

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This is one of the latest villages to be illegally demolished by Israel to make way for Jewish settlements and disposes Palestinians from their own lands.

Israel has proceeded with the illegal demolition of hundreds of Palestinian houses and stores in the Al-Bustan area of Silwan, East Jerusalem, on Tuesday despite global outrage.

The demolitions, which aim to make way for Jewish settlements, began following a June 28 deadline given to Palestinians to either demolish their own homes or pay demolition fees after Israel destroys them.

Several bulldozers and Israeli vehicles stormed the area on Tuesday morning and started by decimating a Palestinian store owned by Nidhal Al Rajabi, who was himself later violently assaulted by Israeli forces.

While no visible political action was taken to halt the demolition of the Palestinian structures, social media users in Qatar and beyond called for immediate action to stop Israel’s ethnic cleansing under the hashtag #SaveSilwan and #انقذوا_سلوان.

“Insane how we’re watching the ethnic cleansing of 1,500 Palestinians today through an Instagram live and the world is still turning a blind eye,” said one Twitter user.

In another tweet, journalist Dima Khatib said “they demolished his [Al Rajabi’s] shop then assaulted him. Nothing new. Same ethnic cleansing pattern for 73 years.”

According to the Institute for Middle East Understanding [IMEU], 1,500 Palestinians including 935 children in the Al-Bustan area in Silwan are at risk of losing their homes because Israel wants to build a religious theme park.

Read also: #SaveSheikhJarrah: Global community calls for halt to forced expulsions

Israeli settlers already displaced 13 families in Batan Al-Hawa, another area in Silwan, with the apartheid state aiming to destroy a further 78 Palestinian homes in Al-Bustan.

A total of 17 homes have also had active demolition orders since 2005, with no court protection provided to Palestinians. A hearing in mid-August this year is also set to be held to determine the fate of more Palestinian homes.

Palestinians have responded to the most recent demolitions by peacefully protesting, though force from Israeli forces have resulted in at least 13 injuries registered by the Red Crescent in Jerusalem. Six people were injured by rubber coated steel bullets and five others from tear gas inhalation.

“I want to see protests in every damn city in the world against the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Jerusalem,” tweeted Palestinian writer and activist Mohammed El-Kurd, whose neighbourhood Sheikh Jarrah is facing an imminent threat of ethnic cleansing.

Occupying Israeli forces have been conducting brutal attacks and arrests on protesters and journalists covering calls to halt the forced dispossession of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah and the neighbourhood of Silwan alike.

Israeli mobs have also been conducting random attacks on Palestinians while facing no repercussions, in most cases receiving protection by Tel Aviv forces.


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