Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
'We'll keep coming back.' Ben-Gvir
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Silwan residents: Rightist march will ignite area

Extreme rightists to march in east Jerusalem village Sunday to protest illegal Palestinian construction there. Leftists: Dangerous provocation

Activists from the extreme rightist group Eretz Yisrael Shelanu (Our Land of Israel), including Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir, are expected to march on Sunday in east Jerusalem's mostly Arab Silwan village.


"We expect those upholders of the rule of law who have worked to seal off Beit Yonatan to march with us and demand the enforcement of the rule of law where it applies to the razing of 216 illegal Arab homes in the village," said Ben-Gvir.


"We'll return to the village again and again; we'll document (the illegal Palestinian construction) and petition the Supreme Court until the State proves its ownership over Jerusalem and enforce the law only on Jews," he said.


The protest march was postponed a number of times since organizers obtained a police permit about a month ago due to fears that it may lead to the renewal of Arab riots in the capital.


Silwan's residents and leftist organizations are fuming over the decision to allow the rightists to march. "Even if the law allows them to march – it is a dangerous provocation," Hagit Ofran, the director of Peace Now's Settlement Watch, told Ynet.


"The (rightists) want to turn Jerusalem into Hebron, where a handful of Jewish extremists force their will on the local population," she said.


Attorney Ziad Kawar, who represents Silwan's residents, said the Jerusalem Municipality's planning committee was at fault for not issuing building permits. "The committee is preventing us from leading a normal lifestyle due to political and extremist considerations," he said.


Kawar also expressed concern that the march may ignite the area. "This (march) is solely aimed at provoking the Arab residents. I hope it ends peacefully, but there are extremists on both sides. This march will only add fuel to the fire in the city. It can ignite the entire country," he said.


Police limited the number of rightists who are allowed to march to 70.


Meanwhile, left-wing activists who regularly protest in Sheikh Jarrah against Jewish presence in the neighborhood said they would hold a counter-rally in Silwan on Sunday.


"We hope the Kahanists' march in Silwan will raise awareness to the hardships of the local Palestinians," the leftists said in a statement.


Shmulik Grossman contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 04.21.10, 14:09
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