First Published: 2010-12-26


Tensions rise in east Jerusalem quarter over evictions


Arab residents are angry both about Jerusalem mayor's planned park, his refusal to evacuate Beit Yonatan.


Middle East Online

JERUSALEM - Israeli police on Sunday deployed across the flashpoint east Jerusalem district of Silwan after the city's mayor raised the prospect of evictions at a Jewish building and an Arab home in the quarter.

Children in the mostly Arab neighbourhood threw stones but no major clashes were reported ahead of evictions that could come as early as Monday.

The affected buildings are a six-storey apartment block known as Beit Yonatan (House of Jonathan) and a former synagogue that is currently inhabited by an Arab family.

Israeli courts have issued eviction orders to the residents of both buildings but Mayor Nir Barkat said on Sunday he has tried to prevent the orders from being carried out.

"Since the beginning of my administration, I have been working to decrease the number of court orders against buildings in Jerusalem," he said in a statement.

Barkat has called on the Israeli government to halt all demolitions in Jerusalem until he can carry out a major rezoning of Silwan that would retroactively legalise a number of Arab homes built without Israeli permits.

But the plan also includes the construction of a controversial archaeological park that would require the demolition of 22 Arab homes.

Arab residents say it is virtually impossible to secure Israeli permits to build in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem. They are angry both about Barkat's planned park and his refusal to evacuate Beit Yonatan.

But residents of the settler building, which was illegally constructed, also accuse Barkat of negligence, charging that he has held back on demolishing illegally-built Arab homes while targeting Jewish residents.

Settler organisation Ateret Cohanim has secured a court ruling ordering the eviction of an Arab family from a local home constructed inside a former Jewish synagogue.

But Barkat said on Saturday that he would direct police to carry out the evacuation of Beit Yonatan if the former synagogue was emptied.

Ateret Cohanim spokesman Daniel Luria called Barkat's linking of the two eviction orders "a huge injustice and totally immoral."

"Why the mayor is playing politics and connecting that with the House of Jonathan is hard to understand," he said.

"Now it seems that he's linking the House of Jonathan with the synagogue that has nothing to do with the municipality at all, and he seems to be playing politics."


Syria rebels prepare to quit penultimate pocket of Ghouta

Egyptians prepare to vote with Sisi reelection guaranteed

Israel ministers welcome US appointment of 'friend' Bolton

Iran slams US sanctions over hacking scheme

Iraqi widow saved recruits from slaughter by IS

Policeman dead in bombing in Alexandria

Syrians in Manbij fear Turkey, bet on US

Quick victory unlikely in Egypt assault on IS

Sisi, Egypt's undisputed leader and 'father figure'

PKK to quit northwest Iraq after Turkish threat

Iraqi asylum seeker gets life sentence for London bombing

UK says Israeli sentencing of Palestinian teenage girl "emblematic"

Sarkozy vows to clear name in Libya probe

Syria announces second evacuation deal for rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

Three dead after suspected IS gunman takes hostages in France

170,000 flee violence in Syria's Afrin

Norway proposes bill to ban full-face veils in education

Turkey says EU statements on Cyprus 'unacceptable'

Air strikes hit Ghouta despite rebel ceasefire effort

US approves $1 billion in Saudi defence contracts

Saudi to carry out nuclear power deal with or without US

In world first, flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007