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Israeli settlers take over three buildings, plot of land in Silwan neighborhood

Jerusalem (QNN)- More than 100 Israeli settlers protected by police took over three buildings and a plot of land in the Silwan neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, early dawn today.

According to Wadi Hilweh Information Center, the settlers broke into the three buildings, which were not inhabited at the time, and the plot of land, setting up two prefab rooms and a stairway, as they opened a hole in the wall to one of the buildings.

The Center said the police secured the settlers’ takeover of the buildings and land and provided them with protection.

Each of the buildings has four floors and their owners have said that they sold them to other people few months ago and that they had no idea that they would be leaked to Aterat Cohanim settlement group that is active in taking over Palestinian-owned buildings and lands in occupied East Jerusalem, according to the Center.

Settlers have so-far taken over 12 Palestinian-owned buildings in the heart of Silwan since 2014, said Wadi Hilweh Information Center.

In Batn Al Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, seven Palestinian families are under the imminent threat of being forcibly evicted from their homes.

They are part of 87 families designated for forcible house eviction in the neighborhood.

An Israeli court had previously rejected the petition filed by the residents of Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Al-Hara Al-Wusta (central quarter) of Silwan, south of occupied East Jerusalem, and allowed “Ateret Cohanim” settler organizations to continue its procedures relevant to the immediate expelling of the seven Palestinian families.

The Israeli occupation municipality in Jerusalem has also asked Israeli courts to reactivate demolition orders relating to 119 of buildings housing 1,550 Palestinians in al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem.

The request was filed with an Israeli court nearly two months ago. If approved, seven of the 119 houses in the al-Bustan neighborhood are at immediate risk of demolition.

Hundreds of Palestinian families are being threatened with evictions and house demolitions from their homes by illegal settler groups, fully supported by the Israeli government.

There are nearly 700,000 Israeli settlers living in 256 illegal settlements and outposts scattered across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

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