Arab Residents of Silwan Warn Israel Against Demolishing Their Illegal Buildings

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The Supreme Council for Muslim Law for “Palestine” has now officially warned the Jerusalem municipality and the State of Israel over destroying Arab buildings in Silwan/Shiloach that were illegally built after the Arabs stole and squatted on old Jewish property.

Silwan, was really the Jewish neighborhood of the Shiloach or the Yemenite Village up until Arab pogroms chased out the long time established Jewish community in 1938. The Arabs destroyed most of the village and then built on top of the Jewish ruins in an attempt to erase the Jewish history in the area.

In 2004 Ateret Cohanim helped the first family move back to the village. Over the years more and more families moved back. Most recently Ateret Cohanim facilitated the return of the three domed Yemenite Beit Knesset back to Jewish hands.

Jewish Silwan/Shiloach With The Three Domed Beit Knesset

Rulings Have Confirmed Jewish Ownership

Recent court rulings have all confirmed the original ownership belonging to Jews. Due to the rulings, the Arabs that are effectively squatting on Jewish property – occupying it, are now being asked to leave.

Thanks to the work of both Ateret Cohanim and the City of David 31 illegally built houses in the Silwan neighborhood were destroyed in 2020.

In fact, illegal Arab building has been so bad, nearly the entirety of the King’s Garden, established by King Solomon has been destroyed.

With the continued court rulings set to right a historic wrong and going against the attempted land theft aided by the Palestinian Authority, the call to stop the municipality is being seen as a grave escalation on the part of the “Palestinian” religious leadership.

As it is, the 22 Jewish families that live in the Shiloach are exposed to constant attacks. With the rhetoric turning violent, there is an expectation for increased physical attacks as well. Despite this, the return to the Shiloach continues as the city is planning to develop the neighborhood for both Jews and the Arab residents as well.

David Mark
Article by David Mark

David heads up Urban Sustainability and Community Development for Ateret Cohanim where he merges his passion for sustainability and Jerusalem into a roadmap for a redeemed capital. When he is not working with Ateret Cohanim, he is intimately involved with Land Reclamation activities in Judea and Samaria and teaching chassidut to classes in Jerusalem.


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