Wadi Hilweh under attack

12:00 Dec 9 2011 Wadi Hilweh, Silwan, Jerusalem

Israeli authorities have escalated their push to take over the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi Hilweh in Silwan in recent weeks. Two families have been issued eviction orders, while local children have been abducted by Israeli forces from the local playground that was built by residents of Wadi Hilweh. The land on which the playground was constructed is coveted by the Municipality for conversion to a carpark to service the City of David settlement, but the landlord has so far resisted attempts to appropriate the property.

Municipality officers and armed troops conducted a neighborhood sweep this week, confiscating the iconic “I Love You Silwan” flags that adorn many homes and the color wire lamps used for fest celebartions

Such acts serve only to frustrate residents and further complicate their lives.

Two representatives of the settlement association ELAD accompanied Municipality officers and troops, taking any opportunity to provoke Palestinian residents. One representative compared a local resident to a cat lying on the side of the road, who had been run over by an Israeli settler guard.

Arguments erupted when several residents demanded that Municipal officers remove Israeli flags and logos from settler homes in return, a request refused by officers. One Municipality employee stated that “this is a Jewish area now, and we can do whatever we like here.”
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