Jewish Settlers Seize Palestinian House in Jerusalem’s Silwan

Human rights groups have said Israel is ethnically cleansing the East Jerusalem neighborhood and colonizing the occupied territories. (Photo: Oren Ziv, via

Jewish settlers took over a Palestinian house in the Palestinian town of Silwan in Jerusalem on Tuesday, The New Arab reported.

The house is a two-bedroom apartment on the rooftop of a three-story building that belongs to the Hileisi family, whose eight members live in the building, including two elderly and four children.

“Israeli settlers arrived in the morning and broke the front door,” Majd Hileisi, a family member, told The New Arab.

“At first I saw the Israeli police, who protected the settlers, so I thought that they had come to demolish the house,” he added.

“A week ago, they demolished another property of mine because it was built without a permit, as most houses and properties in Silwan.”

According to Hileisi, the Jewish settlers are claiming the property of the roof-top apartment.

“They said that the apartment on top belonged to them and that they had bought it, but they didn’t show any papers. When we asked to see some papers, the Israeli police officer told me that we should ask at the court,” he said.

Palestinian media reported that the apartment had been allegedly sold by Majd Hileisi’s brother.

“My brother disappeared three days ago and no longer answers his phone,” said Hileisi.

“He has been separated from his wife for two years. She and their five children live with us and also do not know where he had gone,” stressed Hileisi. “If he did sell the apartment to the settlers, the family will publicly renounce as a member of our family.”

“In case there was an actual purchase, it is still illegal,” noted Khaled Al-Zeer, an activist at the Wadi Hilweh Information Centre, a group that monitors Israeli settlement expansion settlements in Silwan, told The New Arab.

“The house is collectively owned by the Hileisi brothers,” pointed out Al-Zeer. “The alleged seller decided to build the apartment on the rooftop, and all his brothers and sisters signed concessions to their share in the rooftop to him, except two, which means that he can not sell the property.”

Al-Zeer and Hileisi both noted that the family, with the help of residents of Silwan, will file an appeal in Israeli courts against the alleged purchase and takeover.

Settler organizations in Silwan work in cooperation with Israeli government bodies, like the Absentees’ Property Custodian, the General Custodian and the Ministry of Finance.

Some 68 Palestinian families are threatened with expulsion in Silwan. Human rights groups’ records show an increase of 39% in the number of new construction sites designated for Jews in Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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