A lot of anxiety and worry hovers over the lives of the people of Silwan in the Bustan neighborhood. This emotional strain is the consequence of the occupied municipality's plan in Jerusalem (Plan E/J/9) which calls for the demolishing of 88 buildings housing 115 families. Simply, this will make around 1500 Jerusalemites homeless; the number includes women, babies, and elderly people. All will lose houses they inherited from their parents and grandparents, most of which have been built before the Israeli state came to existence.

The coming demolishing campaign for the 115 families in Bustan is not the only expected one, and a similar destiny awaits around 60% of the houses in Wad Hilwa in the same village. All these places are facing the threat of demolition on grounds that they have been built either without a building permit or upon archeological sites.

The land of Silwan is considered an extension for the Aqsa Mosque and is considered the southern gate for both the Mosque and the wall of Jerusalem. To the north of Silwan lies the Aqsa Mosque, the wall of Jerusalem and the Magharba neighborhood which was destroyed and removed from the inside of the Old City Wall’s after the attack of 1967. To the south lies Beit Safafa and Jabal al-Mukaber, while in the east lies Abu Dis, ‘Eizariya and at-Tur. To the west lies at-Talbiya, before the occupation of 1948, or what has become known as the prophet David or the al-Tur neighborhood.

One of the most targeted neighborhoods in Silwan is the Bustan neighborhood. The area is considered by Jews to be the sacred garden of King David, and the aim of the Israeli authorities is to remove all the signs of human existence to make the national garden of “David's City.”

The final goal of Israel's action in the area of the Old City of Jerusalem is to impose a Jewish character on the whole area and to move the Palestinian Jerusalemites. This comes as a fulfillment for the municipality's plan for Jerusalem 2020 that aims to diminish the number of the Palestinian Jerusalemites to only 12%.

From here we beseech the international community to respect its decisions and agreements to force Israel to respect those laws and pressure the state of Israel to stop the attack on us and give us the simple right of survival on our homeland and houses, in safely and in dignity.

The Bustan Local Committee – Silwan, Jerusalem

For more information please call one of the committee members:

Fakhree Abu Diab: 0522-206227

Lubna Masarwa: 050-5633044/ 0542351221

Murad Shafeh: 05044002926

Abd Al Haleem Al Shalwood: 0547841528


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