Israeli aggressions on Silwan’s land and real estates continued – Jerusalem Governorate

Israeli aggressions on Silwan’s land and real estates continued – Jerusalem Governorate

Once more Silwan is in the spotlight as feverish settlement activity targets it yet again. A report by the Land Research Center issued in September 2005 pointed out the possible demolishing of 88 Palestinian houses in Al Bustan Neighborhood in Silwan. The threat still persists up to day and it has expanded to target the location of Al Ein Al Foqa ( upper spring) and its Wadi Abu Zeid neighborhood. The area of this Wadi is about 4 dunums and is owned by members of Al Abassi clan. The expanded threat also reached Karm Al Sheikh where Israeli occupation authorities is planning to demolish 30 Palestinian houses as well as illegally taking over tens of dunums in Al Shayyah region of the village of Silwan.


To follow is a compilation of a series of violations committed by Israeli entities (both official and non-official) against the estates of Silwan:

  • Israeli settlers plow lands owned by Al Abassi clan near Ein Silwan ( upper spring) in an effort to transform it to a parking lot for their cars:

Four bulldozers owned and operated by the Jerusalem Municipality started plowing the lands of Wadi Abu Zeid at 7:30 AM on Monday December 5th, 2005 under heavy protection from the Israeli Army and the Border Police. To be exact, the targeted lands were located in basin 29990, parcels number 216, 217, 219, 220, 221, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 239, 240 and 241. Landowners, in addition to Silwan�s Land and Estates Defense Committee (hereafter �the Committee�), intervened to protect their targeted lands. A number of them asked the Israeli soldiers present at the location about the reason behind the presence of the bulldozers. The Commander replied: 'You have to ask the project�s engineer. His name is Ouri Maroco'.


 When the engineer was approached he said that a company called Moraya (meaning Temple Mount in Hebrew) is the one that is carrying out the project to establish bus stops on behalf of the Jerusalem Municipality. The engineer did not present any documents indicating either land confiscation or work order in the land. As a result of the large number of Palestinians who showed up in protest of the plowing, the bulldozers pulled out at 10:30 AM without being able to continue their planned work. See Photo 1




(Photo 1: Silwan- Jerusalem- one of the sites threatened to be turned
into parking lots for settlers cars)

Photo courtesy of LRC


Lawyer Hameed Qara�een, the Committee�s legal advisor, informed LRC�s field researcher that the people of Silwan hired lawyer Sami Irsheid to take the necessary legal steps to stop the Israeli aggression. As such, Mr. Irsheid presented Judge Alexander Ron at Jerusalem's Magistrates court with an urgent injunction request (no. 8991/2005) to stop the plowing process. The judge indicated the following:

  • In terms of the land located in parcel number 227, which is owned by Mr. Musa Mohammad Al Abassi, the Jerusalem Municipality is instructed herewith not to work in it in any shape or form due to the fact that Mr. Al Abassi is up to date in terms of paying his taxes. Mr. Al Abassi paid NIS 127,000 in taxes for the fiscal year 2005.

  • The party who filed the injunction request must pay the other party NIS 5,000 in the case their request was not legally justified.

  • The filing party (i.e. the Silwan people) must inform the Municipality of the court date !!! which was set to be December 17th, 2005 at 9:30 AM.

The Committee paid the NIS 5,000 from its budget on the day of the court hearing as their representatives, along with Mr. Irsheid, was at hand at the court house. Representatives of the Municipality were not present. The judge waited for two hours for the Municipality representative and when s/he did not show up, the judge issued the following ruling: ' After reviewing the injunction request and the under oath testimonies, I hereby issue a temporary injunction order preventing the Municipality or any entity working on its behalf from carrying out any activity (including basic infrastructure, digging or building) in land parcels number 216, 217, 219, 220, 221, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 239, 240 and 241 of parcel number 29990 in Silwan, Jerusalem. Trees and established buildings are not to be touched until another decision is issued in this regard'.

Map 1: (Silwan's current plan))

(Map 2: Silwan's new plan))

Source:  Silwan's Land and Estates Defense Committee



Recent developments in the targeted lands indicate the on-going usage of the lands by its owners. For example, Mr. Ibraheem Dawood Musa Al Abassi built a 140-m2 house on parcel number 219 after being issued a building permit in 1994. Moreover, the Municipality issued on April 17th, 2005 a permit for Mr. Al Abassi to establish a 3-car parking lot in front of his house at his own expense.


After the judge�s decision landowners met with the Committee on December 10th, 2005 in Abdullah Ibn Mubarak Mosque in Silwan as to discuss the ruling. It became apparent in the meeting that the targeted lands were surveyed in the near past by the owners. As such, the owners won�t be obliged to survey them once again. The problem that arose during the meeting, nevertheless, was the fact that the hired lawyer has asked for $12,000 in return for his legal services, a sum which the Committee simply does not have.

  • El Ad colonial Company continues excavation in Ein Silwan Al Tahta ( lower spring)

The Israeli Ministry of Antiquities is continuing to carryout excavation work in �Bustan Al Hamra� region in Ein Silwan Al Tahta (lower spring). Currently present at the afore-mentioned location Al Ein Mosque, a nursery, a clinic run by the Silwan Club in addition to the fact that the land is owned by the Orthodox Roman and is rented out to the Simreen family since the 1920s.


In the winter of 2002 part of the soil in the location was uncovered due to weather conditions and heavy rains. In 2004, additional rains uncovered old ruins which prompted the Israeli Ministry of Antiquities, funded by El Ad colonial Company, to start excavation work at the site.


(Photo 2: The kindergarten near Silwan's lower spring)



(photo 3: an underground excavation tunnel threatening the basis of the kindergarten)

Photo courtesy of LRC

  • Final touches on a by-pass road

The Jerusalem Municipality finished the rehabilitation of a road in Wadi Al Rababa which connects between Al Bustan Neighborhood and Birkat Al Sultan (Al Sultan Pool). Tens of Roman olive trees were uprooted and a number of dunums were plowed on both sides of the road. Palestinians believe that such rehabilitation is a preamble to use the road as an alternative road used by Palestinians in case the main Silwan road is shut down for the benefit of El Ad to execute its colonial plans in Wadi Al Hilwa.



Insert Photo 4: A section of the newly rehabilitated street in Wadi Ar Rababa-Hinom valley)

 Photo courtesy of LRC



  • The Jerusalem Municipality threatens to demolish tens of homes in Karm Al Sheikh neighborhood in Silwan.

The Municipality distributed about 30 demolishing orders against Palestinian homes in Karm Al Sheikh neighborhood. It is note worthy that the orders didn't carry neither the names nor the ID numbers of house owners in the region. The residents did not head to the Municipality due to the fact that the orders were addressed to unknowns and that the orders were not submitted in a legal manner as they were distributed here and there in a hasty fashion.



(Insert Photo 5: Houses targeted for demolition in Silwan)

Photo courtesy of LRC


  • Israeli authorities confiscate lands for the benefit of the Israeli Annexation and Expansion  Wall:

Israeli occupation forces distributed during the first week of December 2005 a military order calling for the confiscation of tens of dunums owned by members of Al Abassi clan of Silwan and the clans of Shqeirat and Abu Al Dhabaâ��at from the town of Al Sawahra Al Sharqiya. The declared purpose behind the confiscation was to build new sections of the Wall. 


(Photo 6: area confiscated for the erection of Silawan – As Sawhara Sh Sharqiya crossing point)

Photo courtesy of LRC




Photos  7,8,9: Copies of the military order and attached map


  • El Ad colonial intentions in Silwansâ�� estates:

El Ad was established as a company. Yet, in reality it is an entity that designs and executes plans to colonize the largest number possible of estates outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, especially, in the areas of Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah, Al Mussrara ( Damascus gate) etc. The activities of this â��companyâ�� are carried out in complete coordination with Israeli occupation authorities.     


Palestinians in Silwan, especially, in Wadi Hilwa, believe that El Ad�s colonial intentions in the region include:

  • Taking over the lands and houses of Silwan using any conceivable method.

  • Transforming Wadi Hilwa into an archeological/tourist site holding the name of the City of David.

  • The forceful eviction of the largest number of Palestinians from Silwan and replace them with Israeli settlers.

  • Transforming the two main streets in Wadi Hilwa into mere secondary roads while enlarging other streets used by Israeli settlers. This entails establishing parking lots, bus stations and bus stops to accommodate settlers brought in by El Ad. It is worth noting that an increasing number of Jewish â��touristsâ�� have been flocking to the streets of Silwan, especially, in the area of Ein Al Foqa (upper spring).

  • Increasing the frequency of excavation work in the area of Ein Silwan Al Tahta ( lower spring)  as well as the region between Ein Silwan Al Foqa and Bab Al Magharba ( Moroccan gate ) reaching the lands of Mr. Mahmoud Samreen whose large portion of his land was expropriated for the benefit of El Ad company.   



Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Reports