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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z   This menu features recently updated backgrounders on people, places and subjects. To view all backgrounders, click More...
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last updated Feb. 17, 2010 2:19 PM (EST+7)
Silwan
Read more: 
Silwan, Israeli Arabs, settlers, settlement, East Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Beit Yonatan, Beit Yehonatan, City of David, minorities, house demolitions, evictions
Silwan is a Palestinian neighborhood of some 55,000 residents, situated to the south of the Old City of Jerusalem and stretching alongside the south-eastern slopes of Jabal al-Mukaber.

EnlargeBrothers Shadi and Sharif Rajabi, 13 and 14, have both been arrested, detained, beaten and interrogated by Israeli police forces. Feb 8, 2011 (JMCC/ST McNeil)
Multimedia
Aljazeera: Settler drives into Palestinian boys
Oct. 17, 2010 6:48 PM (EST+7)
Interview with Silwan organizer Jawad Siam
March 2, 2010 1:46 PM (EST+7)
BBC Panorama: A Walk in the Park Pt. 3
Jan. 23, 2010 1:57 PM (EST+7)
BBC Panorama: A Walk in the Park Pt. 2
Jan. 23, 2010 1:52 PM (EST+7)
Background
Closure
Sheikh Jarrah
Settlements
Documents
Caution: Children Ahead, BTselem report, December 2010
Yasser Arafat's speech to the UN General Assembly
Separate and Unequal, Human Rights Watch, December 2010
Publications
Poll No. 68, June 2009 - Palestinian opinions towards the national dialogue in Cairo between Fateh and Hamas Movements
The Reality of Jerusalem's Palestinians Today
Poll No. 36 Part I, March 2000 - On Palestinian Attitudes Towards Final Status Issues and Women and Legislation in Palestine
Resources
Caution: Children Ahead. The Illegal Behavior of the Police toward Minors in Silwan Suspected of Stone Throwing. BTselem, December 2010
Caution: Children Ahead. The Illegal Behavior of the Police toward Minors in Silwan Suspected of Stone Throwing. BTselem, December 2010 (pdf file)
From Shiloh to Silwan: An Alternative Archeological Tour

Some evidence suggests that ancient Jerusalem was established 5,000 years ago on the site where Silwan now lies, near Ein Silwan, or the Gihon Spring.

Israeli government and settler organizations label Silwan as the "City of David" and are working in parallel to establish greater Israeli control over this part of the "Holy Basin." Controversy surrounds the government's permitting of Israeli settlers near-complete control over the archeological dig that has been expanded at the site.

Settler group Ateret Cohanim provoked further controversy in 2003 when a seven-story building called Beit Yonatan (after the convicted American-Jewish spy Jonathan Pollard) was build without permit. In 2007, the Israeli high court ordered the eviction of Jewish residents from this illegal building. In October 2007, however, the West Jerusalem municipality approved the construction retroactively.

In February 2010 Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat announced his plans to seal Beit Yonatan but also to demolish 200 Arab homes in Silwan's Garden of the King neighborhood. Overcrowding and the lack of building permits has forced Palestinians in Silwan to build without the proper permits.

In the 1948 war, the neighborhood of Silwan - like the rest of East Jerusalem - was annexed by Jordan. After the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1967, Israel occupied East Jerusalem, controlling and administering the neighborhood ever since.

The Arab residents of Silwan are holders of Jerusalem identity cards, however, they are not considered full Israeli citizens and thus have no right to vote in Knesset elections. Residency rights for Arabs living in occupied East Jerusalem are tightly controlled, and the Israeli Interior Ministry is able to strip them of Jerusalem residency status in case of noncompliance.


News on Silwan
UN peace envoy criticizes Israeli Easter security in Jerusalem16 hrs, 48 mins ago
US court invalidates passport law on status of JerusalemJuly 24, 2013 11:51 PM (EST+7)
Arab leaders set up $1 billion fund for JerusalemMarch 27, 2013 2:01 AM (EST+7)


Sources
Wadi Hilweh Information Center - Silwan
From Shiloah to Silwan, An Alternative Archaeological Tour in Ancient Jerusalem, Archaeology in Jerusalem, Past and Present website
The Story Behind the Tourist Site, Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan (pdf)
11 Jewish families move into J'lem neighborhood of Silwan, Nadav Shragai, Haaretz, April 1, 2004
The battle over settling Silwan simmers, Meron Rapoport, Haaretz, June 12, 2007
Jerusalem Approves ‘Beit Yehonatan’ in Shiloach, Arutz Sheva, October 15, 2007
Barkat says will seal Beit Yehonatan, 200 Arab homes, Ronen Medzini, Ynet News, February 3 2010



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