World Bulletin / News Desk
Jewish settlers seized seven residential buildings in the south of occupied East Jerusalem under the protection of Israeli police, a Palestinian official confirmed Tuesday.
"A group of Jewish settlers seized the seven buildings in Silwan neighborhood in the early hours of Tuesday," Ahmed al-Ruweidi, the advisor on Jerusalem affairs to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office, told Anadolu Agency.
Al-Ruweidi, who lives in Silwan, said that the Israeli forces arrived in the neighborhood in the early hours of Tuesday and enabled the settlers to take over the seven buildings, which contained 22 residential units.
"This is a grave Israeli violation of Jerusalem," he said. "The seized buildings are located in a very sensitive area as it is only 300 meters away from Al-Aqsa Mosque compound."
The official said that Silwan, home to around 60,000 Palestinians, has recently been the target of a systematic Israeli settlement campaign. "Since settlement building began in the neighborhood in 1991, at least 47 settlement outposts were built," he noted.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It unilaterally annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaize" the city with the aim of effacing its Arab and Islamic identity and ultimately driving out its Palestinian inhabitants.
International law considers the West Bank and East Jerusalem occupied territories taken by Israel in 1967, viewing all Jewish settlement building as illegitimate.
Palestinian negotiators insist that Israeli settlement building must stop before the resumption of stalled peace talks with Israel.Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Eylül 2014, 10:26