Palestinian man banished for ‘harassing’ usurping settler

12:00 Aug 4 2011 Beit Safafa neighborhood of east Jerusalem.

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Israeli authorities have banished a Palestinian native of Beit Safafa for allegedly harassing Jewish settlers who usurped the residence of close relatives.

In a bizarre decision by the Israel Magistrates Court, Mohammed Salah, 47, was ordered to pack up from his family of ten and reside in Tarqumiya, south of Al-Khalil, for 90 days after allegedly ‘’humiliating’’ the settlers.

‘’One of the settlers attacked me and threatened to create a problem and have me banished, but I paid no attention to the threats. But unfortunately the occupation police listened to his lies, so I was arrested,’’ Salah said.

Salah added he was forced to pay fines as well as several bail bonds worth thousands of Israeli shekels.

He said the settlers had seized a house that belonged to his father and brother on property owned by his family since the period of Jordanian rule.

Before Salah was arrested, the settlers physically assaulted his wife and daughter and demolished a wall on his residence and began digging on his property to extend water and sewage lines, Salah said.

‘’The same settler, accompanied by another group of settlers, had threatened to kill me and confirmed that he had paid a sum of money to have me killed if I didn’t depart from the land,’’ Salah also said.

The Gilo settlement, established in 1971, was built on Beit Safafa and stretches to Beit Jala city. It has grown so it has consumed smaller settlement communities, all of them built on Palestinian lands.

Jewish settlers have become an increasing menace for the native Palestinian people in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The natives fight for existence as the Israelis have aimed at displacing them claiming the land as their own.

According to a report released by the Palestinian Authority Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, the settler population of the West Bank has increased 40 times since 1972.

The report said the population as 2010 came to an end was 519,974, marking a 1.4 percent increase from the closure of the previous year.

About 51 percent of them have settled in East Jerusalem, where most of the new settlements have been established, the report says.
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