Threatened with forced displacement, families of Batn al-Hawa neighborhood live in a state of fear and anxiety

86 families in the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan are threatened with forced displacement from their homes in favor of the settlers of the Ateret Cohanim organization.

State of Fear and Anxiety

The Jerusalemite Salem Abdul-Mughni Ghaith (67 years) lives in a state of fear and anxiety until the date of hearing the appeal against the decision to evict his home in Batn al-Hawa for the settlers.

Ghaith has been suffering for many years from the threat to seize his house in the neighborhood, which prevents him from leaving anywhere, for fear of taking advantage of this opportunity and settlers storming his house.

Ghaith has been living for 41 years in a two-story house with his wife, son Ashraf, his wife, and 6 children.

Ghaith reported to Safa: "All of my six children were born in this house, and I have 31 grandchildren. I will not leave my house even if the court issues a decision to evict it."

"The settlers offered me money to buy a house for me instead of the one I am living in, but I refused. I will stay in my house until I die," he added.

He asserted, "I am a Palestinian; I live in Palestine and I will never leave my land!"

He called on the Islamic and Arab world to witness the Palestinians' suffering in Batn al-Hawa and stand with them.

Unprecedented Escalation

Regarding the situation in Batn al-Hawa, the head of the neighborhood committee and one of those threatened with displacement, Zuhair al-Rajbi, confirmed to Safa that "what is happening is an unprecedented escalation by the occupation government and settlers against the residents of Batn al-Hawa neighborhood and other neighborhoods of Silwan."

Al-Rajbi explained that "the case file of the residents of the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan is not different from the file of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and the occupation is trying to manipulate the files through the courts."

He pointed to the difficult conditions experienced by the residents of the neighborhood, and the brutal suppression of the Jerusalem Marathon last Friday, using stun grenades and tear gas, assaulting residents and solidarity activists, and the arrest of a group of young men, including a boy, and the demolition of the sit-in tent erected on the neighborhood’s land.

Impact of the Protest

Kayed Abdel-Fattah Al-Rajbi, one of those threatened with eviction, pointed out the importance of the protest organized in conjunction with the appeals session in the court last week.

He told Safa that "the protest had a great impact," calling on the people of Silwan, Jerusalem, and all Palestinians to show solidarity and support for the families threatened with eviction.

As for Nasser Al-Rajbi, the father of 6 children who are threatened with eviction from their homes, he said to Safa: "My home case has been in the Israeli courts for 12 years. We suffer from the settlement organizations that seize homes in the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood and seek to evict us from our homes with a green light from the Israeli government."

Al-Rajbi called on the European international institutions and diplomats to support the families of the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood and pressure the Israeli occupation to stop the eviction decisions.

Source : Safa