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Wednesday April 14, 2010 9:23 AM (EST+7)
Palestinians warned home demolitions imminent

Read more: Silwan, home demolitions, Jerusalem, East Jerusalem, Nir Barkat

JERUSALEM, April 14 (JMCC) – High-level sources in the Jerusalem municipality have warned Palestinians in Silwan to expect the imminent resumption of home demolitions.

Fakhri Abu Dhiab, a member of the Silwan organizing committee, says the group received word that demolitions in East Jerusalem would resume as early as Tuesday, starting in their neighborhood.

Palestinians received a short reprieve from the demolition of homes Israel says were built without building licenses due to pressure from the United Nations and the international community, says Abu Dhiab. He urged the Palestinian Authority to intervene in international forums to again apply pressure on Israel to stop the practice.

The last house demolition in the city was in October 2009.

The recent freeze was due to differences between the police and municipal officials, says head of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, Ziad Hammouri. Funding for the security operations surrounding the demolitions was not available, he says.

In addition, municipal officials were at odds about how to handle the issue of an illegally-built settlement home in the heart of Silwan, where 200 Palestinian homes are threatened with demolition. Israel’s high court had ordered “Beit Yonaton” sealed and then demolished, however the orders have yet to be implemented.

Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer criticized news that Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barkat had ordered the resumption of house demolitions.

The Jerusalem municipality has decided to adopt an extreme right-wing policy that may bring on another intifada and isolate Israel from the world. Barkat must retract his orders publicly, before it's too late, he said.

Palestinians have boycotted participation in the Jerusalem city government since Israel occupied the eastern half of the city in 1967.






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