Fakhri Abu Diab, member of the Defense of Silwan Land Committee, told Palestine’s official Wafa news agency on Monday that 17 houses belonging to Palestinian families in al-Bustan neighborhood will be demolished by the end of next month.
Abu Diab added that Israeli officials have issued demolition orders to residents of 98 buildings.
He noted that the Jerusalem municipality has notified the families affected to evacuate and demolish their houses themselves.
The municipality has warned the Palestinians that failure to do so would mean the families would have to cover the demolition costs.
Since 2005, residents of al-Bustan have received warnings to demolish nearly 90 homes under the pretext of building without a permit, in favor of a settler organization that seeks to turn the land into a park.
According to Palestinian NGO Grassroots al-Quds, both home demolitions and court-ordered forced displacements are tactics used to expel Palestinian residents.
Last month, Amnesty International sharply criticized the planned eviction of several dozen Palestinian families from their homes in Silwan neighborhood as “another illustration of Israel’s criminal policy of forced displacement of Palestinians.”
Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa in the London-based organization, Saleh Higazi, said the Israeli regime is “fanning the flames of the latest upsurge in violence and perpetuating the same systematic human rights violations against Palestinians” by continuing to pursue the Jerusalem al-Quds District Court’s decision on a pending appeal against the ordered eviction.
He argued that the measure follows massive outcry over planned expulsions from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, where protests against the decision led to Israeli violence against Palestinians and the 11-day war on the Gaza Strip.
Silwan, home to about 33,000 Palestinians, is located outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds and its sacred sites.
Israeli officials have been moving Jewish extremists to the neighborhood since the 1980s, and currently several hundred settlers live there in heavily protected settlement compounds.
This has resulted in numerous human rights violations, including the forced eviction and displacement of Palestinian residents.
The Silwan properties are claimed by extremists backed by Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing foundation that works to strengthen the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem al-Quds.