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Occupation magazine - Jerusalem

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Israel applies the price tag strategy in East Jerusalem
Ir Amim

Since this morning, large numbers of Israeli security forces have been blockading the village of Silwan in anticipation of the eviction of the Abu-Nab house, inhabited by dozens of Palestinian residents and adjacent to the settlement of Beit Yonatan. Like other properties in East Jerusalem, this one has also found its way with the help of the Israeli Custodian into the hands of extreme rightwing settler organizations; before 1948 the house had served as a synagogue for the small Yemenite Jewish community in the area. After the eviction, the house is expected to be populated by Ateret Cohanim members; it is likely that the settlers living in Beit Yehonatan will simply cross the street and move into the Abu Nab house.

The correlation made between the eviction of Beit Yehonatan and the eviction of the Abu Nab house reflects the adoption of a dangerous price tag policy made famous by extreme settlers in the West Bank, and now being applied in Jerusalem by Israeli authorities.

According to a peremptory order issued by the courts, Beit Yehonatan should have been evacuated and sealed off years ago. During this time, the Jerusalem Municipality, especially under Mayor Nir Barkat, has done everything in its power to thwart enforcing the courts order on Beit Yehonatan. Linking this decision with the eviction of the Abu Nab family from their home adds insult to injury; the decision regarding the Abu Nab house is indicative of Israeli policy that allows only Jews to reopen property ownership records from before 1948. The settlement in Beit Yehonatan is another link in the ideological chain that seeks to undermine the national character of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and prevent any opportunity for an agreed political solution in the city.

By making the eviction of Beit Yehonatan contingent upon the eviction of the Abu Nab house, the authorities are making an appalling correlation between two injustices with one common victim.

Ir Amim sharply condemns the decision to stipulate the eviction and sealing off of Beit Yehonatan on the eviction of additional Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, and calls on the Israeli authorities to come to their senses and apply sound judgment in the most sensitive area of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

For more about the eviction of the Abu Nab family and the correlation with Beit Yehonatan, see here.

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