Why 88 Arab homes received eviction notices
Israel has plans to demolish Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem to make way for a tourist site. Activists say it's a demographic play that amounts to ethnic cleansing.
By Ilene R. Prusher | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the February 26, 2009 edition
JERUSALEM - Israel plans to demolish 88 homes in Silwan, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, to make way for a new archaeological park, adding new fuel the slow-burning dispute over Jerusalem.
A variety of neighborhood activists, Muslim leaders in Jerusalem, and even figures from the Palestinian Authority (PA) held a press conference Wednesday, saying that Israel was trying to minimize the Arab presence in this city claimed by both Palestinians and Jews as their capital. They say such a move amounts to ethnic cleansing.
"They have made a decision to clear out 88 houses, and with about three families living in each of these houses, we're looking at the eviction of about 1,500 people. But people in Silwan are clinging to their land and will not leave, despite the eviction orders," says Adnan Husseini, who is PA President Mahmoud Abbas's adviser on Jerusalem Affairs.