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  • In Silwan, the settlers are winning - big time

    Seven years of struggle and Silwan’s residents can’t claim even one tangible and clear victory. Not one home has been returned to its original residents, not one settler has left and the police and Israeli authorities continue to target Palestinian residents. By Yonathan Mizrachi The East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan got its first-ever community center, Madaa, in October 2007. At the same time, a diverse group of activists, primarily Jerusalemites, began a number of types of actions and struggles for the future of the village of Silwan and, it must be said, for the future of the entire region. Among…

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  • Settlers take over 7 E. Jerusalem homes in dead of night

    ‘Settlers say that they bought the house, but they haven’t shown us any documents,’ says one Palestinian woman whose home settlers took over Tuesday morning. ‘Now they’re sleeping in my bed; all of our clothes and furniture is still inside.’ By Orly Noy Israeli settlers took over seven homes in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem Tuesday morning, primarily in Wadi Hilwe, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. According to residents, the settlers arrived at around 2 a.m., escorted by large numbers of riot police. “I was still awake, here in the store,” said neighborhood resident Ahmed Qareen, the owner of a…

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  • Israel's very own tunnels of dread in Jerusalem

    While everyone is preoccupied with the Hamas tunnels in Gaza, Israel continues to dig under Palestinian houses in Jerusalem. The excuses are questionable, residents are angry and fearful, and a religious conflagration appears imminent. By Orly Noy With the Hamas tunnels dominating the Israeli narrative for the past several weeks, their inherent danger horrifying the entire state and sometimes leading to apocalyptic visions, the state of Israel persistently continued digging its own underground tunnels – in Jerusalem. These tunnels, like those of Hamas, are being dug under a heavy cloak of secrecy. As with the Hamas tunnels, they serve as…

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  • Tel Aviv University to cooperate with settler group on East Jerusalem dig

    Tel Aviv University's spokesperson refuses to explain why its archaeologists will work with Elad, an organization notorious for its pursuit of Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. Haaretz reported on Thursday that Tel Aviv University's Institute of Archaeology plans to start digging in al-Bustan, located in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem, in cooperation with Elad, a private right-wing organization notorious for using the "City of David" National Park to further expand Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem. While a Tel Aviv University spokesperson told me they will be "cooperating strictly with the Israel Antiquities Authority," it is a well-known fact…

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  • Court prevents eviction of Palestinian family by JNF

    After two decades of legal struggle, the Ruweidi family from Silwan has been granted recognition by the courts that they are indeed the rightful owners of their home. The decision rejects the Jewish National Fund's claim that the home is the property of the State of Israel. Moriel Rothman contributed to this report. The Jerusalem District Court ruled in favor of the Ruweidi family from East Jerusalem last week (May 2), accepting the claim that their home is not "absentee property," as the Jewish National Fund has sought to prove in court since the 1990s. The Ruweidi family will thus be…

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  • Foreign influence, transparency problems of NGO Monitor

    Right-wing NGO that went after progressive and human right groups is financed from abroad, including through large grants from undisclosed donors Last week, Haaretz's Uri Blau had a short expose – available only in the Hebrew edition – regarding the rightwing non-profit NGO Monitor. As some readers might remember, NGO Monitor recently attacked the German Heinrich Böll Foundation for a grant of 6,000 Euros it gave +972 Magazine in 2011. According to its website, "NGO Monitor's objective is to end the practice used by certain self-declared 'humanitarian NGOs' of exploiting the label 'universal human rights values' to promote politically and ideologically motivated…

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  • ‘National Parks’ in East Jerusalem: New tool in occupation toolkit

    The establishment of national parks in East Jerusalem may sound like a nice idea that fosters the preservation of natural reserves - but in reality, it is a crafty method the Israeli government and its institutions have found to keep East Jerusalem under Israeli control and prohibit Palestinian territorial contiguity, rights and independence.  By Zvi Benninga Since 1967, the overarching objective of the state of Israel regarding Jerusalem has been to secure it as a Jewish city. The borders of the city, which demarcate an area a bit bigger than the city of Paris, were drawn in order to control…

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  • Israel's war of attrition on non-Jews

    The eviction of the Sumarin family was delayed but not canceled, leaving the family in limbo. Other groups live with uncertainty as Israel wages a psychological war of attrition on non-Jews. According to Haaretz, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) has delayed the eviction of the Sumarins, a Palestinian family who lives in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan and who were slated to be evacuated from their home on Monday. The JNF has been trying to evict the Sumarin family for 20 years. Much of Silwan's land has been confiscated by the state and transferred to Himnuta, a company owned…

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  • Activist group opposes cultural events in City of David

    While I am not a member of the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, I have been active with them and decided to post their appeal as I think it is an important cause and call to action By Silan Dallal and Ella Elbaz-Nir Under the misleading title “Israeli Culture at Heritage Sites” a series of musical performances sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Culture commenced on August 11 at The City of David, a controversial “archeological site,” located in the heart of the Palestinian village of Silwan in East Jerusalem. These concerts are but another ploy in a long line of actions…

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  • Israel privatizing national parks to sustain occupation

    The Knesset approved a first reading of a bill that would privatize the administration of its national parks, all in an effort to protect the control of a settlement organization over an archeological site in East Jerusalem. While thousands of Israelis are protesting the price of goods and housing in Israel, reminding the Knesset it is there to serve the interests of its citizens, the Knesset is busy with something more urgent: protecting the settlement project. The Knesset approved a first reading of a bill that will allow the privatization of administration and management of Israel's national parks. The amendment…

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  • WATCH: Palestinian youth abducted by police in E. Jerusalem

    While Israelis are busy pitching tents across the country, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, life under occupation goes on as usual, far away from the media's eyes. In the shocking footage below, taken with a surveillance camera last Friday, July 22, Palestinian teens playing soccer in the street are suddenly abducted by Israeli soldiers in an undercover vehicle and hauled away.  Whether guilty of stone throwing or not, this is not the way to go about conducting justice in a country's capital. As Sloveninan philosopher Slavoj Zizek has expressed many times, when there are no big headlines in…

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  • The "Religiousization" of the conflict in Jerusalem

    By Mairav Zonszein and Aziz Abu Sarah Crossposted from commongroundnews.org Jerusalem - Jerusalem, home to Christianity, Judaism and Islam – and highly significant to Palestinians and Israelis alike – continues to be a crucial focal point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Holy Basin in Jerusalem is home to some of the most sacred sites to all three religions, including the Western Wall, a remnant from the Second Temple and the holiest place in Judaism, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Sovereignty, freedom of movement and the symbolism of the city are therefore very important to Palestinians…

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  • Palestinian grassroots activist to be expelled from East Jerusalem

    On November 28th, Adnan Gheith, a member of the Al-Bustan Neighborhood Committee and a dignitary of Silwan, was served with a letter informing him that Yair Golan, the Israeli Home Front Commander, is intending to expel him from Jerusalem for a period of four months. The expulsion is to be executed based on an Administrative Order – with no charges and no evidence – by power of the Emergency Defense Orders established under the British Mandate. Gheith’s lawyer was informed that the expulsion is intended to curb Gheith’s political activity, since the security apparatus considers him to be a central…

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