Israel is to demolish 88 houses in Silwan

JERUSALEM, June 1, 2005 (WAFA)
Palestinian News agency

– Israeli Occupation Authorities announced on Wednesday its intention to demolish a number of Palestinian houses in al-Bustan area of Silwan town, east of Jerusalem city.

Field Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Meir Margalit, revealed that the plan is aiming to demolish an entire neighbourhood. Under the name of “The Cherry in the Crown”, 88 houses, which are close to the walls of the old city, will be knock downed. Some of these houses were built before 1967 and others were built in the 1970’s.

Lawyer Sami Ersheid, said that some owners have already received demolition orders. He also added that demolition proceedings have also begun against pre-1967 houses by utilizing an unusual clause that permits a building to be razed without convicting the owners of code violations.

Residents made it clear that the neighborhood’s earliest houses date from the 1940s and ’50s, and most houses were built in the late 1980s and early ’90s on private land belonging to Silwan villagers.They added that the plan is to set up a national park on the land, connecting to the Jewish compound in “al-Bustan” area of Silwan, and thereby creating an area without Palestinian citizens adjacent to the Old City.

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