Palestinians protest Jerusalem demolitions

Violent clashes erupted between Palestinian residents and Israeli troops Nov. 18 as military forces razed two houses in al-Bustan neighborhood of East Jerusalem’s Silwan district. The demolitions were the second and third of the day. Seven Palestinians were injured and dozens of others assaulted as Israeli troops fired tear gas at the growing crowd that gathered to confront the continued program of home demolitions in the neighborhood. Crowds gathered as Israeli bulldozers wrecked the homes, and protests began as the equipment moved on to the second building.

The destroyed buildings belonged to local residents Khaled Ar-Ruweidi and Muhammad Awwad. They housed 18 people, now all homeless as a result of the demolitions. A garage that was also demolished was the property of Iyad Siyam. Earlier that day, Israeli bulldozers demolished a two-family Palestinian home in al-Isawiya, East Jerusalem. On Nov. 17, a four-family home owned by the Husseini family was bulldozed, its 30 residents rendered homeless. (Ma’an news Agency, Nov. 18)

The unrest comes as the Israeli government announced approval of 900 new homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, one of a dozen in the occupied eastern part of the city where new settlements are under consideration. In a reaction that sparked media outrage in Israel, President Obama told Fox News: “I think additional settlement building does not contribute to Israel’s security. I think it makes it harder for them to make peace with their neighbors. I think it embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous.” (Fox News, Nov. 18; AFP, Nov. 17)

See our last posts on Israel/Palestine and the struggle for Jerusalem.

Please leave a tip or answer the Exit Poll.

  1. Dov Hikind: international provocateur
    Brooklyn’s own Dov Hikind may become a property-owner at the settler development Israel is illegally building at Gilo. He showed up at the ground-breaking ceremony to implicitly bait Obama as an anti-Semite for daring to suggest that Israel abide by international law. From New York’s 5 Towns Jewish Times, Nov. 18:

    Hikind Calls Obama “Obstacle To Peace”
    In defiance of President Barack Obama’s demands that Israel cease building in sections of Jerusalem annexed following the 1967 Six Day War, New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind (Dem.) laid the cornerstone for the second phase of the Nof Tzion neighborhood near Jabel Mukabar. Together with Likud MK Danny Danon, Hikind spoke with reporters about the Jewish right to build in Israel’s capital city. Hikind explained that banning Jews from building in a neighborhood was segregation. He expressed wonder that an African-American president should endorse such a policy in the 21st century and expressed his interest in buying an apartment in Nof Tzion, encouraging the group traveling with him to purchase land there as well.

  2. White House protests new East Jerusalem housing plans
    The White House has protested Israel’s Dec. 28 announcement that it will build 692 new apartments in East Jerusalem. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced a 10-month moratorium in West Bank settlement construction in November, but the order did not include East Jerusalem. Reports say 198 homes will be built in the Pisgat Ze’ev district, 377 in Neve Yakov, and 117 in Har Homa. “Every decision Israel takes to construct more illegal settlements makes a mockery of its so-called settlement moratorium,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. (DPA, Dec. 28; WP, LAT, Dec. 29)