Jewish families move into eastern Jerusalem Arab neighborhood

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Several Jewish families moved into apartments in buildings in the eastern Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Silwan.

The Jews moved in late on Monday night, amid protests by Arab rioters who threw rocks and fireworks and attempted to enter one of the homes, according to reports. One policeman was injured in the attacks.

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The eleven apartments in six buildings were purchased by Kandel Finance, an American company, Walla!News reported. It said that the arrangements also were assisted by the right-wing Elad organization, which is working to solidify a Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem.

Times of Israel reported that the buildings, comprising about 25 apartments, were purchased by the American company, a sale some residents of Silwan have questioned from a legal standpoint since they say the buildings belong to three established Arab families in the neighborhood.

The apartments were vacant when the Jewish families moved into them, a local Arab activist told Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency.

Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat told the Times of Israel that the Israeli government is being run “by the settlers and for settlers. It serves the objective of altering the character of Jerusalem through isolating, containing and confining Palestinian existence, allowing for more Israeli land grabs and attempts at changing the identity and demography of Palestine and particularly of occupied East Jerusalem.”

About 50 families live in Silwan, known to Jews as Shiloach, located next to the City of David and across from the Western Wall.