Details…Silwan…A new property was “leaked” to settlers in Wadi Hilweh neighborhood
July 1, 2021

After midnight on Friday, a residential apartment in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in the town of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, was leaked to the Elad Settlement Association.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center-Jerusalem explained that more than 20 settlers took over an apartment with the support and protection of the police, a property consisting of “an apartment, stores, a plot of land and the addition of an under-construction building” in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood, after it was leaked from its owner, Walid Ahmed Atout.

The center added that settlers and their workers damaged the locks placed by young men after receiving information about the leakage of the property and the escape of its owner from the place. The settlers then installed surveillance cameras, window grids and wall protections, and they changed the locks. They also took out some of the contents of the apartment to the outside courtyard.

About the property, the information center clarified that about a week ago, there was talk about selling it to unknown parties, so notables from the town of Silwan and members of local committees spoke with the owner of the property named Walid Atout, where he denied the sale, pointing out that he received an offer to sell it to Turkish authorities, but he did not do so. He remained at home with his family until Thursday morning.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center added that amid the investigations conducted by the committees and the competent authorities over the past few days, it was found that Atout sold his house to Ahmed Ighbaryeh from the Palestinian 1948 lands, who handed it over to a contractor for renovations, while Atout and his family of 5 members left the property without emptying its contents and without taking their personal belongings of clothes and other stuff, in order not to draw the attention of the neighboring residents, especially since the property is located inside one of the alleys of Wadi Hilweh neighborhood.

The center added that competent authorities from Silwan had contacted the so-called "Ighbaryeh" on Thursday to find out what was going on and demanded him to come to the property to talk, but he refused and denied that he had leaked the house, and said that he had bought it to turn it into a clinic. The notables managed to talk to him and then he too fled the site.

The center explained that the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood is the closest to Al-Aqsa Mosque from the southern side, and it is the most targeted by settlement associations, which seek to control its real estate in several ways, most notably, “through the guardian of absentees’ property/or leaking it by its owners,” noting that inside the neighborhood there are more than 50 settlement outposts.

The center added that the settlement associations are implementing several projects in the neighborhood, including “airway stations,” the Kedem project, establishing tourist stations, a visitor’s center, in addition to digging a network of tunnels underneath the neighborhood that lead to the walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Al-Buraq Square and Ein Silwan, and these tunnels threaten the neighborhood with collapse.