Over the past few days, Israeli settlers intensified their attacks against lands and properties of the residents of Silwan neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. Since the beginning of this year, settlers illegally occupied several Palestinian homes, while Israel continued to dig tunnels in that area causing damage to the houses and streets.On Sunday, dozens of extremist settlers uprooted 30 newly planted olive trees from the land of the resident Mohammad Shaban in Wadi Hilwa area.
The attack was carried out on Sunday at night, approximately at 11, when the settlers entered the land and started uprooted the newly planted trees. The settlers escaped when they noticed that several Palestinian youth saw them.
Attorney Alesa’ Sha’ban said that he went to the land and saw approximately 30 uprooted trees and graffiti written in Arabic and Hebrew by the settlers stating “This is private property”.
He added that he phoned the Israeli police and filed an official complaint and that the police came to the scene and observed the damages.
Sha’ban stated that this is not the first attack as a similar attack took place on January 17 when the settlers partially bulldozed a wall surrounding the land.
The driver of the bulldozer said that the Jerusalem Municipality asked him to bulldoze the wall, and Sha’ban managed to obtain an order barring the setters from entering the land.
The family of Mohammad Sha’ban said that they own official documents proving their ownership of the land.
Hatim Abdul-Qader, advisor to the Palestinian President for Jerusalem Affairs, said that the settlers stepped-up their attacks against the Palestinian lands in Silwan and are carrying attacks against the Arab houses in order to intimidate the residents to leave the area.
The attacks included illegally occupying Palestinian houses, digging tunnels under the houses, uprooting agricultural lands, in addition to several attacks against the residents themselves.
Abdul-Qader added that the digging of the tunnels carried by the Jerusalem municipality and the settlers is only dozens of meters away from the Al Aqsa Mosque.