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Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15

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Demolition of Al-Bustan Neighborhood in Silwan a Preliminary Step for a Large-Scale Demolition in Other Neighborhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem

A report issued by JCSERs Research & Documentation Unit revealed that Silwan City is being exposed to the largest Israeli plan to Judaize the city and its local residents through what is being done by government and non-government Israeli departments and Jewish settlement societies.

The report clarified that the imminent demolition of some 88 Palestinian houses in Al-Bustan Neighborhood are not the only ones expected to be implemented soon. A similar fate is awaiting 60% of the residents of Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in the Old City of Jerusalem. The neighborhood is also threatened with demolition under the pretext that the houses were built without obtaining proper building permits from the Jerusalem Municipality and that they were built on archeological sites.

Wadi Hilweh Neighborhood has a total population of approximately 5,000 Palestinians, out of a total of 45,000 living in different neighborhoods of the Old City and other nearby neighborhoods, such Ras Al-Amud. A tough battle is waiting the neighborhood if the Israelis implement their plans.

The Unit noted that it received information from local sources in Wadi Hilweh stating that the municipal building control teams handed over the past two days 20 house demolition notices in the neighborhood under the pretext that the houses were built without obtaining building permits.

As for the removal of Al-Bustan Neighborhood, it is an old plan. It was revealed more than seven years ago in concurrence with what was declared by the Jerusalem Municipality and the Antiquities Authority to turn the entire area surrounding the Old City into national parks and tourist sites. One example was what happened in Wadi Al-Rababeh, southern Old City, which separates Silwan from Ath-Thori neighborhood.

The report referred to the complicated tunnels network being set up by the Israelis in the area adjacent to Al-Bustan Neighborhood and in the archeological area of Ein Silwan. Former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, inaugurated a few years ago a huge tunnel in the same area, towards north-south the walls of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The report described what is being taking place in Silwan as the largest construction workshop implemented by the Israelis in the area surrounding the Old City and near the walls of the Al-Aqsa Mosque since 1967 whether what was done under the title of developing the infrastructure of the area or setting up national parks. This huge workshop requires the demolition further Palestinian houses under different names and pretexts.

In this context, the report referred to the large-scale construction works done by the settlers and settlement societies in the nucleuses they set up in real-estates taken over inside Silwan. The construction work was approved by the Jerusalem Municipality under complete secrecy.

According to JCSERs data, the ultimate purpose the Israelis seek to achieve is to give a Jewish character to the entire area. They succeeded in achieving an important part of it through building the settlement neighborhood in Ras Al-Amud, known as Maale Zeitim where 132 Jewish families currently live, enhancing its control over more real-estates in Silwan, and doubling the settlement presence in Bet Oron, a settlement nucleuses in Mt. of Olives.

The report referred to the construction works currently taking place in Nov Zion, a Jewish settlement on the outskirts of Jabal Al-Mukabber to the south of Silwan. Infrastructure works are currently taking place in Kadmat Zion, a Jewish settlement southeast Old City in Abu Dis.

On the other hand, the report expects that the Israeli occupation authorities will start in the coming stage the construction works in Karm Al-Mufti in Sheikh Jarrah, and the enhancement of the settlement presence in the settlement nucleuses in Sheikh Jarrah through implementing a huge evacuation process of some 27 Palestinian families whose houses are threatened to be taken over.

The report confirmed that what is currently taking place in Silwan cannot be isolated from the Judaization measures currently taking place in the Old City, as well as Israels ongoing excavations taking place beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding.

The Center brought to mind the demolition and removal of Bab Al-Magharbeh (Dung Gate) more than a year ago, and the isolation process implemented in the surrounding of the Old City where the Israelis built wide sidewalks that severely restrict vehicles and citizens movement and their access to the worship places inside the walls of the Holy City.

However, the report expects the worse when the Israelis start implementing other construction plans they prepared several years ago. This includes the construction of a new Jewish neighborhood in Burj Al-Laqlaq, northern Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the setting up of air railway connecting the Old City and Silwan to Bet Oron a Jewish settlement on Mt. of Olives.