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Settlers take over East Jerusalem home in the dead of night

In the latest of a number of home takeovers in Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, settlers took up residence in a home they said belonged to Jews before the establishment of the state of Israel.

A Jewish settlement is seen in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, East Jerusalem, March 28, 2007. (Activestills.org)

A Jewish settlement is seen in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, East Jerusalem, March 28, 2007. (Activestills.org)

A group of Israeli settlers moved into an apartment building in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Thursday.

The group of at least 20 belongs to the Ateret Cohanim settler organization, which purchases properties in neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and has taken legal action in order to evict the Palestinian owners of those buildings.

In this latest case, it claimed that the white stone, five story building was located on land belong to a historical Jewish real estate association established a century ago by the Yemenite Jewish community of Jerusalem.

One Palestinian family of eleven, headed by Jawaf Abu Sneineh, remained in their apartment, claiming that they had already paid the year’s rent. They are reportedly still living there, though they say they are afraid of the settler residents above them, according to the Associated Press.

The late night move almost doubled the number of Jewish settlers in the neighborhood and added to already high tensions regarding disputes over land ownership in the area.

Silwan is currently home to several hundred Jewish settlers and some 50,000 Palestinians. It is an impoverished area just on the outskirts of the Old City of Jerusalem, and it has been the target of the Ateret Cohanim organization in recent months.

Palestinians have frequently resisted the eviction orders in court, where they say the Jewish Israelis are almost always given preference.

Many of the takeovers of Palestinian homes have taken place in the dead of night, in the efforts to “avoid unnecessary friction with some of the local Arabs during the day,” according to a statement released by Ateret Cohanim.

The settlers, holding just as many bags as they could carry, as they quietly made their way through the alleys, were accompanied by armed soldiers–a move that critics say only further exacerbates the tensions.

Americans for Peace Now president and CEO Debra DeLee condemned the takeover and said in a statement, “By not blocking the settlers’ hostile takeover of assets in a Palestinian neighborhood, Israeli authorities are fanning the flames of violence and supporting the extremists who strive to thwart a future Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.”

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    1. Ben

      Just another day in the Lords of the Land State. “Some Jews once lived here we hear so we, our IDF servants in tow, get to kick the Arabs out and move in because, um, we’re Jewish. Yeah, that’s about it. The Tribe. Genetics. You know. And besides, God is our real estate agent. What’s the problem? What’s that? Why then are we sneaking in in the middle of the night like thieves? If the place is ours? Oh. Isn’t that how everybody moves in? What’s the problem?”

      Reply to Comment
      • Israel

        Just another day in the Lords of the Land State.”

        They are not “in” their state, Ben, they are outside the territory of their state:


        Jerusalem is not part of Israel. Israel is illegally occupying Jerusalem and colonizing it.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Yes I agree. They are outside not “in” the territory of their state. Didn’t mean to suggest otherwise. This is not a settled issue no matter how often the Israeli government pretends it somehow is.

          Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          ISI:”Jerusalem is not part of Israel. Israel is illegally occupying Jerusalem and colonizing it.”

          OK then, ISI baby, I repeat my earlier question to you, which you seem most reluctant to answer…

          If Jerusalem is not part of Israel, then to which country does Jerusalem belong?

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            No response, “ISRAEL” dear? Nothing to say?

            Ok then maybe you could change your alias to “ANTI ISRAEL” instead?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Poor old (ANTI) ISRAEL makes assertions but when he gets asked a touchy question, he won’t answer because he worries that his answer will show how flimsy his assertion is.

            What else is new? That’s how ALL anti Israel posters operate in general and on this site too. All hubris but no way to justify their wild assertions, LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            A few pertinent facts about Jerusalem…

            1. It was the ancient capital of the Jewish kingdom of Judea.

            2. (1) above is supported by ample archeological evidence.

            3. Since around the mid 1800s to today, Jerusalem had a majority Jewish population.

            4. Jerusalem was never the capital city of ANY sovereign Arab country.

            5. The last time part of Jerusalem (East Jerusalem) was under Arab sovereignity (Jordan) was for a brief period (19 years between 1948 and 1967). Prior to that, for a over 1000 years, no part of Jerusalem was part of a sovereign Arab country.

            6. Just before 1948, Jerusalem was part of the British mandate.

            7. In 1948, Jordan conquered East Jerusalem and kicked out the entire Jewish community of East Jerusalem.

            8. In 1948, the new state of Israel retained West Jerusalem which had a majority Jewish population.

            9. East and West Jerusalem were never separate cities. They were always part of the same city.

            10. In 1967, after Jordan attacked Israel, the Jordanians were defeated and East Jerusalem too came under Israeli rule and once again the two parts of the city were re-united.

            It is therefore an open and shut case. Israel has the strongest claim to Jerusalem. Anyone who disputes that, needs to tell us on what basis they dispute Israel’s claim to Jerusalem. And they then need to tell us who then owns Jerusalem? The fact that “our friend”, this persona who calls himself “Israel”, but who in fact is ANTI ISRAEL, can’t answer my question, tells a story. He is afraid that his answer will make him a laughing stock.

            Reply to Comment
          • Israel

            “A few pertinent facts about Jerusalem…”

            “Anyone who disputes that…”

            It’s an indisputable fact that Jerusalem is outside the territory of the state of Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            LOL. Indisputable? Than tell us oh mighty assereter…

            Which country does Jerusalem belong to?

            Can’t? Or can’t justify? Ok, that’s the end of the story.

            Reply to Comment
          • Israel



            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            It is an indisputable fact that Jerusalem is under the sovereignity of Israel.

            Sovereignty is understood in jurisprudence as the full right and power of a governing body to govern itself without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity.[1] It is a basic principle underlying the dominant Westphalian model of state foundation.

            Reply to Comment
          • Israel

            “It is an indisputable fact that Jerusalem is under the sovereignity of Israel.”

            The above might have made sense in 1648.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Go on then, dude, tell us that Jerusalem is not under the sovereign control of Israel. And I will show you a flat earther, LOL.

            And while you are at it, tell us, which other country owns Jerusalem? Can’t? Well then, that tells a story too…

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Notice too that our (ANTI) ISRAEL dude does not deny the pertinent facts which I listed a few posts ago about Jerusalem. He just asserts… does not justify…. just asserts.

            It is as logical as if he would claim that Los Angeles is not part of America. He would be just ridiculed…

            Reply to Comment
    2. Gustav

      The only document that counts was the text of Israel’s declaration of independence. And the final document of that declaration did NOT, I repeat, it did NOT define Israel’s borders. Here is why…

      “The draft text was submitted for approval to a meeting of Moetzet HaAm (Hebrew: מועצת העם‎, lit. People’s Council) at the JNF building in Tel Aviv on 14 May. The meeting started at 13:50 and ended at 15:00, an hour before the declaration was due to be made, and despite ongoing disagreements, with a unanimous vote in favour of the final text.
      During the process, there were two major debates, centering around the issues of borders and religion. On the border issue, the original draft had declared that the borders would be that decided by the UN partition plan. While this was supported by Rosen and Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, it was opposed by Ben-Gurion and Zisling, with Ben-Gurion stating, “We accepted the UN Resolution, but the Arabs did not. They are preparing to make war on us. If we defeat them and capture western Galilee or territory on both sides of the road to Jerusalem, these areas will become part of the state. Why should we obligate ourselves to accept boundaries that in any case the Arabs don’t accept?”[9] The inclusion of the designation of borders in the text was dropped after the provisional government of Israel, the Minhelet HaAm, voted 5–4 against it.[10] The Revisionists, committed to a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan River (that is, including Transjordan), wanted the phrase “within its historic borders” included but were unsuccessful.”

      Ben Gurion’s stance was fair and logical. That is why he prevailed.

      Reply to Comment