Details…Demolishing a commercial facility in Al-Bustan neighborhood…injuries and arrests
June 29, 2021

On Tuesday morning, the occupation municipality demolished a commercial facility in Al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center - Jerusalem stated that the occupation forces, in large numbers, accompanied by municipality’s crews and mechanisms, stormed Al-Bustan neighborhood in the morning, then surrounded the “Al-Khalil Butchery” shop owned by the Rajabi family and expelled the residents by force and sprayed pepper gas at them, and during that the municipality crews emptied the contents of the shop, then they demolished it.

The center added that the forces deployed inside the alleys and streets of Al-Bustan neighborhood and were stationed at its entrances, and prevented the people from leaving the neighborhood towards the demolition area.

Shouts and chants of Silwan residents erupted against the demolition and targeting of those present.

The center added that the occupation forces beat the young men, during which fistfights broke out between those present and the occupation forces.

The forces severely beat the owner of the facility, Nidal Al-Rajabi, and detained him and his son Harbi during the demolition process.

The forces also arrested two young men, Iyad Al-Rajabi and Fadi Al-Rajabi, and the boy, Ahmed Nidal Al-Rajabi.

The forces fired sound grenades and rubber bullets randomly in the vicinity of the demolition, then the confrontations spread to the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in the town.

The Palestinian Red Crescent / Jerusalem stated that its crews dealt with 13 injuries during confrontations with the occupation forces in Silwan, and were as follows: “5 gas injuries were treated in the field, 6 injuries with rubber bullets, one of them in the chest, was taken to the hospital, bruises in the hand due to beatings, and burns injuriesfrom a gas grenade.”

Al-Jazeera photographer was also slightly injured with burns due to firing of gas canisters.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center stated that the municipality's bulldozers demolished the shop, after the deadline given to the residents to implement the "self-demolition" decisions had expired, but the residents of the neighborhood refused to do so and affirmed their steadfastness in their homes and commercial facilities.

The center added that 17 "residential and commercial" establishments were notified in Al-Bustan neighborhood according to the "Chemnitz Law".  The municipality demanded the owners of 13 facilities to self-demolish their property, and after the deadline passed, the municipality carried out the demolition of the commercial facility.

The center pointed out that this law cannot be appealed or objected to.

Regarding the shop, Nidal Al-Rajabi explained in an interview: “The shop has been in existence for about 10 years, and in 2016 the municipality issued a demolition decision, and imposed on the family a building violation fine of 20,000 shekels, which the family was committed to paying its monthly installments”. The shop had an area of 40 square meters.

The danger of demolition threatens the entire Al-Bustan neighborhood, which includes about 100 homes with a population of (1,550) people, after the municipality rejected last March the engineering plans submitted to the municipality to organize and license homes, and refused to extend and freeze demolition decisions, as the municipality aims to establish a “King’s Garden / National Park”, on the ruins of the neighborhood.