In pictures: Cracks and collapses in a residential building and an accounting office in Silwan
Cracks and collapses occurred on Saturday in the walls and floors of a residential building and an “accounting” office in the neighbourhood of Wadi Hilweh in Silwan due to the continuous Israeli excavations underneath the area. Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that wide cracks and collapses occurred in a building owned by Bashir family and an accounting office owned by Siam family. Wadi Hilweh Center warned of the danger of the continuous Israeli excavations on the residents and their properties. Mariam Bashir explained that light cracks started to appear on the wall of the family’s house and the entrance of the building nearly a month but wide cracks were revealed on Saturday in the outside courtyard and the house’s walls as well as the outside stairs. Also, cracks occurred inside the house of Mariam Bashir and her brother’s house Adel and she explained that she noticed the cracks on Saturday when she was unable to close the front door. Bashir said: “We frequently hear excavations sounds but we don’t know where they are coming from and we only found out the dangerous situation of our building which consists of two floors (2 apartments) where seven individuals live including two children.” A land collapse also occurred inside the courtyard of the house. Daoud Siam who owns an accounting office was surprised to find a collapse in the ceiling of his office when he opened it on Saturday morning and found dirt and stones above his furniture and computer. Siam family explained that they suffer along with their neighbours from cracks in their walls due to the continuous Israeli excavations in the area. Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that the occupation authorities began the excavation works underneath the neighbourhood in 2007 and the residents were able to obtain an order from the Israeli courts to stop the excavations underneath their houses for 14 months and then they were able to obtain an order from the judge which allows the Israeli authorities to do their work if they don’t pose any threat to the lives of the residents. The locals of Wadi Hilweh explained that they have been suffering from cracks and collapses in their house and the streets of the neighbourhood because of the Israeli excavations underneath their neighbourhood especially in the winter season which they call “season of collapses”. The Israeli authorities (Nature and Parks authority, Elad settlement organization and Gihon Water Company) try to avoid any responsibility when it comes to any drilling occurring underneath the neighbourhood.