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Minutes left for Israel’s demolition of al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- 135 Palestinian families in al-Bustan neighbourhood in Silwan town are threatened with Israeli forced displacement from their houses, 13 of them will be displaced in the few coming minutes.

On Thursday, March 11, 2021, the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem unveiled a decision that rejected engineering plans for the Al-Bustan neighbourhood in Silwan.

On June 7, the Israeli-run Jerusalem Municipality issued demolition orders to 135 Palestinian families in al-Bustan neighbourhood.

Under this development, 119 homes, inhabited by 1,550 people, most of them children and women, in the Al Bustan neighbourhood are at risk of displacement, to make way for an Israeli archaeological park.

13 families out of 100 will be displaced in the few coming minutes today.

The demolition notice stated: “We wanted to inform you that we will carry out the demolition according to the court’s decision. To minimise damages, you must leave the home without people and items until 21 days after receiving this letter. The municipality is not responsible for property damage if the house is not evacuated as mentioned.”

This comes after the Israeli court postponed its decision on an appeal lodged on May by two of the seven Palestinian families in Silwan facing forced displacement from their homes.

The Jerusalem Municipality has already officially changed Al-Bustan’s name to Gan Hamelekh (The King’s Garden), claiming that it was a garden for Israelite kings thousands of years ago.

Only a few minutes left before the end of the countdown and the threat of the demolition.

The occupation authorities have told the residents of al-Bustan they have two choices: the self-demolition of their own houses, or the demolition by the occupation administration any minute.

The Israeli court had previously rejected many appeals filed by the residents of Silwan, and allowed “Ateret Cohanim” to continue its procedures relevant to the immediate expelling of the seven Palestinian families.

Ateret Cohanim, a settler organization, has been seeking, with the support of Israeli occupation authorities, to forcibly evict some Palestinian families in Silwan, claiming the land is rightfully owned by a Jewish trust active in the area more than 100 years ago.

Silwan, home to around 33,000 Palestinians, is located outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem and its holy sites.

Israel has been moving its citizens into the neighbourhood since the 1980s. This has resulted in numerous human rights violations, including the forced eviction and displacement of Palestinian residents.

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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