The expulsion of 5 families from their homes in Silwan on Friday the 29th of March, saw the Occupation continue its systematic policy of ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem.
Three houses built on one dunum of land (around 300m2 each) were forcibly taken over by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). Using a mixture of fraud, deception and outright intimidation, the properties were seized to make way for further settlement expansion in Palestine.
The buildings are located in Wadi el-Helwe, and since the 1960s were home to 5 families. A total of 31 Palestinians were made homeless as a result of the JNF activities. The JNF used fraudulent documents to claim they bought the land in 1922, and demanded the current Palestinian owners of the houses pay the impossible sum of $250,000 each for 10-year rental of the properties. JNF claims to the land are false and have even been seen as bogus in the Occupation courts, with ink used to sign the âcontractsâ produced by the JNF corresponding to a later date.
Nevertheless, the families were evicted by force at 8 am on Friday the 29th of April. Around 80 heavily armed private security forces, hired by the JNF, arrived in Silwan and commenced to physically eject the Palestinians from their houses.
The JNF is a central institution in the Occupation of Palestine and the war crimes committed against its people. In 1948 the JNF expropriated vast quantities of land after around 800,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their communities and homes in the Nakba. Under an illegal purchase agreement with Ben-Gurion, the JNF set about razing and destroying all evidence of Palestinians and their villagers. Today the JNF controls 2500 sq. km of land â around 93% of the 1948 areas â and promotes racist and Apartheid policies by leasing the stolen Palestinian land to Jews-only.
Under threat and siege â Palestinians in Jerusalem
The evictions come as part of a systematic drive to remove Palestinians from their capital of Jerusalem. The houses are only 150 meters from the area of al-Bustan where another 8 Palestinian families were made homeless last year, again for settlement expansion shrouded under claims from the JNF.
Many other houses here are threatened with imminent destruction. Last year the Occupation signalled its intentions to demolish 88 houses in al-Bustan, an order that was frozen after a high profile media campaign. However, the plan appears to be recommencing, with 1000 people in 88 homes living in constant fear of house demolition.
Silwan is one of the central areas in Jerusalem, lying adjacent to the old city. An ancient quarter seeped in history; Silwan will be inside the borders of a Judaized Jerusalem as determined by the Apartheid Wall. The Wall will be completed shortly and is over 181 km in length in Jerusalem, serving to isolate and ghettoize Palestinian areas and sever people from their land. Every measure and means in thus taken to ensure that Silwan is cleansed of its Palestinian population, with the JNF playing a central role in the illegal and criminal expropriation of Palestinian property.