Risk of demolition threatens the neighborhood…cancelling the plans for Al-Bustan neighborhood and refusing to freeze the demolition orders
March 10, 2021

The occupation municipality rejected the engineering plans for the Al-Bustan neighborhood in the town of Silwan, and the court ordered not to extend the freeze on the decisions to demolish the homes of the neighborhood.

Fakhri Abu Diab, a spokesman for the committee for the defense of Silwan's lands and real estate, explained to Wadi Hilweh Information Center that the lawyer for Al-Bustan neighborhood informed the people of the municipality’s decision to reject the engineering plans that the municipality had demanded to present over the past years, to stop the demolition of the neighborhood’s homes.

He added that the municipality disavowed and canceled previous agreements with engineers, lawyers and the neighborhood committee not to demolish the neighborhood, despite the residents’commitment to present and develop plans, open streets, and allocate some sites for infrastructure and public facilities, such as schools and playgrounds.

Abu Diab warned of the danger of the municipality’s decision to reject the plans, as Al-Bustan neighborhood is under threat of demolition at any moment.

Abu Diab added: "It is possible that the actual implementation of the decisions to demolish the entire neighborhoods in Jerusalem begins in Al-Bustan neighborhood."

Abu Diab said that there are 100 houses, inhabited by 1,550 people, most of them children and women, in the Al-Bustan neighborhood and they are at risk of displacement.

Abu Diab said that the municipality claims that this neighborhood is a historical cultural heritage of the Jewish people, and therefore it wants to demolish the neighborhood to establish "King David's Garden ... a Biblical Garden."

Abu Diab added to the center that some of the neighborhood's homes existed before 1948 ... and others before the occupation of Jerusalem.

He said that this decision violates international laws and decisions, pointing to international pressure over the past years not to implement the demolition of the neighborhood.

Abu Diab called on the international community and human rights organizations to intervene to protect the neighborhood from the threat of demolition.