Even decorations are forbidden in Silwan
November 13, 2009

The Wadi Hilwah neighborhood has become a main example of the outcome of the complaints of Settlers living in Silwan. In their goal of erasing the Palestinian identity of the region, landmarks have become one of the more obvious targets of the settlement project in the area. Yesterday the Jerusalem Municipality workers attempted to remove Arabic signs in the neighborhood, after claiming that such signs are illegal. They managed to remove the “School of Music and Art” sign, which belongs to the Madaa- Silwan Nieghborhood Center. Meanwhile the signs put up by the Elad settlement organization are everywhere. Subsequently, the residents of the area must work to modify some of the signs in accordance with the conditions imposed by the municipality...

Soon after this incident, the Jerusalem Municipality inspectors came to the neighborhood, again, but this time in order to remove the Hajj and Eid decorations attached to many of the street signs. A number of young Palestinian residents gathered to ask the inspectors why they could not keep the decorations, and the inspectors stated that they had “received a large number of complaints from the settlers about these decorations”.

Such actions have once again made it evident the great level of control the settlers and Elad organization have on the municipal authority, and how little attention they pay to the rights of the Palestinian residents. The city continues to perform prejudicial acts against them. While the settlement organization takes down the signs and decorations that symbolize the Palestinian culture that surrounds them, they continue the construction of buildings, structures, and tunnels which pose risk to the Palestinian residents' lives by causing cracks in their homes and main roads. The Jerusalem Municipality is busy solving the settlers' problems, but does not care to help the more dire situations that affect the Palestinian residents' daily lives.

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The “School of Music and Art” sign, which belongs to the Madaa Community Center.

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Picture 149Signs belonging to settlers.

Picture 151Signs belonging to settlers.

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