WHIC: Excavations Cause Cracks in the Houses of Silwan Village

The Wadi Hilweh Information Centre (WHIC) has revealed in a new report that the cracks in the walls of the houses of Wadi Hilweh in Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood has increased recently due to Israeli excavations beneath the area.

WHIC explained that, “wide cracks and landslides appeared in new places in the neighborhood and the old cracks also widened as the amount of soil removed from beneath the houses is increasing dramatically.”

The Center published a statement that revealed the extent to which the cracks have increased in the neighborhood, stating, “The cracks and landslides used to only appear in the winter season. Recently, the old cracks have widened and new cracks are appearing all year round which shows the increasing of excavation works taking place beneath the neighborhood, putting the establishments of Wadi Hilweh at risk of collapsing at any time.”

The cracks appeared in various parts of the neighborhood, including in Hosh Siam, where 30 people live, including children.

The locals added that cracks appear in the neighborhood’s streets every now and then despite the municipality’s attempts to hide them. The streets are clearly inclined and cracks are expanding and increasing in the walls. The locals expressed their extreme worry regarding this issue.

Ahmad Qaraeen, a member of Wadi Hilweh committee, explained that, “The occupation authorities began the excavation works … in 2007 and the residents were able to obtain an order from the Israeli courts to stop them … for 14 months.”

He added that residents “were then able to obtain an order from the judge which allows the Israeli authorities to continue their work if they do not pose any threat to the lives of the residents, but what is happening in the neighborhood is a continuous digging operation without bothering about the locals’ lives and safety.”


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