AT LEAST nine Palestinians have been forcibly evicted from their homes by settlers guarded by Israeli troops in the Silwan area of Jerusalem today (Monday) .
The Wadi Hilweh Information Center, based in Silwan, said that a large number of Israeli border guards and Israeli officers went with members of the Israeli Ateret Cohanim organization, an extreme far-right organization, to the area of Batn al-Hawa, where the Palestinians lived.
They then surrounded two Palestinian homes, which they ransacked, evicting a family of four and another family of five.
Helicopters were spotted flying overhead, and Israeli police dogs were also used during the eviction.
One man, called Abdullah Abu Nab, was attacked with pepper spray during the shocking attack, which saw four of his five family members made homeless.
In addition, five family members of the Sabri Abu Nab family were also forced from their home.
An Ateret Cohanim spokesman claimed that the organization had owned the Abu Nab family’s homes prior to 1948, a local Batn al-Hawa committee member, Zuheri al-Rajabi told Ma’an News.
Ateret Cohanim also claimed that the grounds used to house a synagogue, and that the Abu Nab family’s houses was built there illegally.
A Wadi Hilweh spokesman said that this eviction was part of a bigger plan by Ateret Cohanaim, to take over around 5,200 square metres of land in Batn al-Hawa.
It claims the land used to belong to Jewish Yemenite families. Israeli court have already issued several other eviction orders to some of the eighty Palestinian families in the area.
Earlier this year, the United Nations condemned similar evictions and demolitions, saying they were illegal and only served to create more tension.
A spokesman said in January: “Demolitions that result in forced evictions and displacement run counter to Israel’s obligations under international law and create unnecessary suffering and tension.”
A Facebook page for Ateret Cohanim states: “Ateret Cohanim, also Ateret Yerushalayim, is an Israeli Jewish organization with a yeshiva located in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
“It works for the creation of a Jewish majority in the Old City and Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.”