The mayor of Jerusalem Al-Quds is pushing through plans to raze dozens of Arab properties southeast of the city, claiming that the structures are ‘illegal.’
On the orders of Nir Barkat, the Israeli municipal staff of the city have begun coordinating with the police before bulldozers are set on the Silwan neighborhood, Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.
The neighborhood houses an already deprived and overcrowded Palestinian community in the shadow of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In line with the measures, Silwan’s Gan Hamelech section, home to some 100 Palestinian families, is to undergo a ‘radical development.’
The mayor is to clear the legal obstacles by means of numerous court orders which would force the eviction of the residents and the sealing of their properties.
Israel captured East Jerusalem Al-Quds in 1967 and later annexed it, but the move was never recognized by the international community.
Tel Aviv regularly issues eviction orders against hundreds of Palestinian residents in Jerusalem Al-Quds, bringing into doubt the legality of their ownership documents. The residents insist that the Israeli officials have been either withholding or refusing to issue documents for their houses.
The measures are denounced as a Judaization campaign by the Tel Aviv regime targeting the holy city, which the Palestinians insist should be the capital of any Palestinian state and whose final status is one of the thorniest issues of the peace process.
The Israeli daily claimed that the ‘redevelopment’ plans envisage re-housing of the Palestinians. Critics, however, denounce the moves as other means of ethnically cleansing the area before moving in more Israeli Jews.