Pictures: New cracks threaten the houses of the neighborhood of Wadi Hilweh in Silwan
March 13, 2016

New cracks appeared in the walls of several houses and streets in the neighborhood of Wadi Hilweh in Silwan due to the continuous Israeli excavations underneath the neighborhood.

Wadi Hilweh Committee explained that new cracks appeared in new areas in the neighborhood in addition to an increase in the old cracks which pose a real threat to the locals and their houses as big amounts of dirt are being removed from underneath the neighborhood due to the Israeli excavations.

The committee pointed out that large trucks closed Wadi Hilweh Street in the last few weeks to remove the dirt from the excavations sites; few days later, cracks started appearing in various areas around the neighborhood.

The committee added that large cracks appeared last week in Wadi Hilweh playground which is the only place where children can play and entertain themselves due to the lack of parks not to mention the dangerous cracks that appeared last year in several houses in the neighborhood.

The committee also pointed out that large cracks occurred in Wadi Hilweh Main Street which is one of the main streets in Silwan and the municipality quickly hides the cracks without revealing the reasons behind them.

Mohammad Daoud Siam explained that six families live in “Hosh Sheikh Daoud” where cracks appeared in the houses’ walls and roofs due to the continuous excavations underneath.

Siam added that sound of electric tools are always heard; the more they hear the sounds, the more cracks appear.

He said: “Our houses became unsafe and we are constantly worried about our children because of those cracks.” He appealed to stop the excavation works which only serve Israeli purposes without paying any attention to the locals’ lives.

Ahmad Qaraeen, member of Wadi Hilweh committee, explained that the occupation authorities began the excavation works underneath the neighborhood 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, but what is happening in the neighborhood is a continuous digging operation without bothering to the local’s lives and safety.

He explained that the locals of Wadi Hilweh explained that they have been suffering from cracks and collapses in their house and the streets of the neighborhood because of the Israeli excavations underneath their neighborhood 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 neighborhood.