Affrontements à Silwan (Jerusalem) – 24 octobre 2010

Police clash with Arab youth while distributing demolition orders in East Jerusalem

24 10 2010

Four demolition orders come amid Mayor Nir Barkat’s development plan program raze 22 Palestinian homes in Silwan that were built without permits, and to construct a tourism center in their place.

Jerusalem municipal supervisors on Sunday distributed four demolition orders to homeowners in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan, in the east of the city.

Clashes broke out between local youths and the officers accompanying the supervisors; police responded by firing tear gas.

Mayor Nir Barkat has approved a development program in that neighborhood to raze 22 Palestinian homes that were built without permits, and to construct a tourism center in their place. An additional 66 homes built without the proper permits would receive approval.

The tourism center for the area, which is called Al Bustan in Arabic and Gan Hamelekh (King’s Garden) in Hebrew, is to include restaurants and boutique hotels

The city said it will help the residents of the 22 homes slated for demolition to move to other areas of Silwan.

Local residents oppose the plan and claim that its purpose is to increase the hold of Jewish settlers over the neighborhood. They have submitted an alternative plan that does not involve the demolition of homes but still includes the park that is part of the city’s plan. The zoning panel did not discuss the alternative plan, which angered council members on the left.

The program also met significant opposition from European states and the U.S., but was nevertheless approved by the city’s planning and building council.

In light of the pressure facing the city now with regard to construction and planning, the demolition will not likely take place in the near future.

The city called the distribution of orders a « routine procedure » of applying court rulings across the city.

Official: Child hit by rubber bullet in Silwan clashes


JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Clashes broke out Sunday in the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan as Israeli authorities stormed the Al-Bustan area to hand down demolition notices, locals said.

Head of the committee defending Silwan homes Fakhri Abu Diab said a large force of Israeli border guards ransacked the area, using homes as vantage points to fire tear-gas canisters, stun-grenades and rubber bullets « in all directions. »

An eight-year-old boy was hit three times by the rubber bullets, he added.

Several demolition notices were handed down to Samir Abu Sbeih, Yousif Abu Sneina, Nafith As-Sa’di and Sai’di Asila among others.

A spokesman for Israel’s National Police did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Center: Israel launching tax crackdown

On Wednesday, the Wad Hilwa Information Center said Israeli forces and officers began carrying out a detention campaign and tax crackdown in Silwan.

Center direct Jawad Siyam said wide-scale raids on stores in Silwan were being carried out, while armoured vehicles patrolled the streets, adding that police, border guards and tax officers were searching cars and « breaking into many stores. »

« The officers in charge of these teams were instructed to continue the campaign and escalate it, similar to what happened in Shu’fat, until protests carried out by Palestinians against the settlers’ provocation ends, » Siyam said.

Tensions have remained high in Silwan, following the shooting death of Samer Sirhan, a Palestinian resident by an Israeli settler guard. The neighborhood was placed on lock-down for several days and since the center has reported dozens of detentions.

Weeks after Sirhan’s, a video surfaced of an Israeli settler organization leader running down Palestinian children as they threw stones at his car. Later, Israeli police were said to have used the footage to detain and question the children seen in the video.

Israel’s Jerusalem municipality did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Clashes erupt again in flashpoint Jerusalem district


24 10 2010

JERUSALEM — Palestinian youths and Israeli police clashed on Sunday in a flashpoint east Jerusalem neighbourhood after city officials served home demolition orders on residents, witnesses said.

Neighbourhood activist Fakhri Abu Diab said city inspectors arrived with a large number of police and border guards to hand out demolition orders to families living in the Al-Bustan neighbourhood near the Old City.

When they reached a nearby area of the Silwan district Palestinian youths pelted the police with rocks and the security forces responded with tear gas and stun grenades before withdrawing, Abu Diab said.

« It’s calm now… but it’s the calm before the storm, » he told AFP.

The municipality could not be reached and the police had no comment. There were no reports of any serious injuries.

The municipality hopes to carry out a massive urban development project in the neighbourhood, known as Gan HaMelech (King’s Garden) in Hebrew, that has infuriated residents.

The project would involve demolishing 22 out of 88 homes built without Israeli permits, with the remainder being legalised retroactively.

Thousands of Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem have been built without permits, which residents and rights groups say are nearly impossible to get.

Stone-throwing youths in Silwan have clashed with police and settlement guards on a near-daily basis recently.

The neighbourhood is part of Arab east Jerusalem, which Israel seized in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in a move not recognised internationally. The Palestinians have demanded east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The dispute over the city, which contains holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, has frequently ignited violence.

Novos distúrbios em bairro árabe de Jerusalém Oriental


24 10 2010

JERUSALÉM — Novos enfrentamentos entre jovens palestinos e a polícia israelense sacudiram neste domingo o bairro árabe de Silwan, em Jerusalém Oriental, onde a tensão é permanente há várias semanas.

O confronto teve início depois que funcionários do município, acompanhados por policiais e guardas de fronteira, entregaram quatro ordens de demolição a moradores do bairro.

Os jovens manifestantes lançaram pedras contra as forças de segurança, que responderam com bombas de gás lacrimogêneo e de efeito moral.

O ambiente é tenso em Silwan, onde alguns colonos judeus vivem protegidos por um dispositivo de segurança considerado sufocante pela população palestina.

A situação começou a degenerar em março passado, quando a prefeitura de Jerusalém apresentou um projeto para a construção de um parque temático bíblico na região, chamado de « Jardim do Rei », com a destruição de várias residências palestinas.

~ par Alain Bertho sur 25 octobre 2010.

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