Stand against racist housing policy and occupation in Silwan, East Jerusalem

Abdallah Abu Nab has lived in his family’s home in Batan al-Hawa, Silwan, East Jerusalem, since he was born; if the settler organization Ateret Cohanim’s plans go through, Abdallah and his family will be made homeless. 

For readers who can access Jerusalem, this coming Friday, there will be a very important solidarity visit, organized by the folks at Free Jerusalem (inc. me) and in response to an invitation from residents of the Batan al-Hawa neighborhood of Silwan, where the Abu Nab family is threatened with eviction from their home on the basis of a discriminatory Israeli law that allows Jews to “reclaim” pre-1948 properties while Palestinians often can’t even visit their pre-1948 properties, let alone evict their current residents with the help of the Israeli courts and police department.

Below is the framing of the case as seen on the Facebook event. I’ll just state, in brief, that this is a very important opportunity both to hear directly from families and activists struggling against discriminatory policies of occupation and eviction in Jerusalem, and to stand up against those policies.

Solidarity Visit in Silwan

”Residents of the Batan al-Hawa neighborhood of Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, have invited the public to a solidarity visit, in light of the threat of eviction hanging over the Abu Nab family, and over many other families.

Residents of the neighborhood will gather this Friday in a protest tent that was erected outside the Abu Nab family’s house. Come stand in solidarity with the family threatened with expulsion from their own home, to hear their story directly from them, and to witness the bizarre reality forced upon the neighborhood.

We will meet on Friday, August 21st, at 1:30 PM in Gan HaPaamon in West Jerusalem, and from there we will go with organized transport into the heart of Silwan; we recommend that every donate 20 shekels to cover transport, or how ever much they are able to give.

Seats are limited; please sign up by email by writing to jerusalem.act@gmail.com, with the subject: ‘Joining the tour to Silwan— xx people.”

The Abu Nab family’s house is close to the “Beit Yonatan” settlement structure, and next to the “Beit HaDvash” settlement house, both of which have been taken over by the settler organization “Ateret Cohanim.” Israeli law allows organizations like “Ateret Cohanim” to take over Palestinian private properties on the basis of pre-1948 documents. It should be noted that the Abu Nab family and many other families in the neighborhood themselves had properties in Qatamon, Haifa, Jaffa, and near the area of Huztot HaYotzer; they do not have the legal ability to demand that these properties are returned to them.

There are a number of other families in the same plot of land who are currently facing legal processes and are facing the threat of receiving a similar eviction order like the one received by the Abu Nab family. The eviction of the Abu Nab family from their home will certainly impact the future of the other families in the neighborhood, which include hundreds of people who could be forced to evacuate the homes they have lived in for their entire lives.”

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