Israel demolishes Silwan shop as further demolitions loom

Israeli forces demolish Silwan shop, beat Palestinian owner as further demolitions loom
2 min read
29 June, 2021
Footage posted to social media purportedly showed Israeli forces beating the shop's owner, named as Nidal Al-Rajabi, for defying demolition orders.
Israeli forces demolished a butcher shop in East Jerusalem's Silwan district [Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Israeli forces stormed the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan on Tuesday morning and demolished a shop in the Al-Bustan quarter, as some 1,500 of the area's residents face having their homes razed by Israel.

Israeli forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse Palestinian protesters. The confrontations later spread to other parts of Silwan, including Batn al-Hawa and the Bir Ayoub neighbourhoods.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported at least four injuries in Al-Bustan, adding that Israeli forces completely surrounded the area before demolishing the Al-Khalil butcher shop.

Israeli authorities claim the shop was built without a permit.

Footage posted to social media purportedly showed Israeli forces beating the shop's owner, named as Nidal Al-Rajabi, for defying demolition orders.

A deadline set by Israeli authorities to demolish the homes of residents in Al-Bustan expired on Sunday. Palestinian residents were ordered to demolish their own homes by Sunday or face punitive fines by Israeli authorities.

Al-Bustan, home to about 1,500 people, is under threat of being completely wiped out to make way for an Israeli archaeological park.

Residents have urged international solidarity to pressure Israel to halt the demolitions.

The #SaveSilwan hashtag has been trending on a number of major social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram.

Israeli courts have dismissed documents dating to Ottoman times presented by Palestinian families showing ownership of homes in Batn Al-Hawa, which is also part of East Jerusalem’s Silwan district.

Rights groups, including Amnesty International, have demanded the evictions in Silwan be stopped.

Israel's forced expulsions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem sparked international protests earlier this year as attention focused on the attempted expulsion of residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.