Today, Sunday 28 November, the Israeli occupation in occupied East Jerusalem (or al-Quds as it is known in Arabic), has given notice of its plan to demolish a Palestinian-owned building in the Ain al-Lawza neighborhood of Silwan, south of al-Aqsa Mosque – under the pretext of it having been built without a permit.
The two-floor building sits between the al-Bustan Ain al-Lawzeh neighbourhoods. The first floor houses a medical centre; the second floor is comprised of several apartments, housing approximately 30 families in total.
Numerous homes across six Silwan neighbourhoods are at risk of being demolished. The occupation’s municipal government typically claims that they were built without a permit. Residents are to be thereby expelled, to make way for extremist settlers.
An Israeli court recently issued a decision to demolish 84 homes in the Wadi Yasul neighbourhood of Silwan.
The policy of systematically demolishing homes and expelling residents aims to empty Silwan of Palestinians, an important neighbourhood due to its proximity to al-Aqsa Mosque.
The area of Silwan is approximately 5,640 dunums (equivalent to acres) and includes 12 separate neighbourhoods. Roughly 58,500 people reside in Silwan. In addition are 78 settlements, in which 2,800 settlers live.
The Israeli authorities are pursuing various forms of harassment against the al-Quds population, as a means of forcing them to leave this religiously-significant city – thereby leaving it clear for the expansion of settlements.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory had documented the Israeli army’s demolition of 698 buildings in – and the displacement of 949 Palestinians from – “Area C” of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2021 alone.