Palestine Monitor, 3 July 2010
Silwan is home to 50,000 Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem, just south of the old city. Since 1967, no building permits have been approved in the neighbourhood. As families expanded over the years, residents were forced to build without permits making their homes illegal and vulnerable to demolition.
Complicating the situation, the ancient remains of the City of David lie below the heart of the neighbourhood. In the 1990’s ELAD, a private settler organisation, took over management and promotion of the site. Since then, they have closed off public areas and been accused of invasive archaeology. Recently the Planning and Building Committee of Jerusalem approved a plan to demolish 22 Palestinian homes to make way for Israeli settlement growth as well as the construction of a tourist centre, the King’s Garden which will include restaurant and boutiques.
Rebecca Fudala visited the neighbourhood.