Jerusalem officials plan for Jewish house evacuation

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jerusalem city officials visited a Jewish building in eastern Jerusalem in order to plan for its evacuation.

The officials, accompanied by security forces, measured the seven-story Beit Yonatan building in Silwan on Tuesday morning reportedly as a step toward evacuating and sealing it. Eight families live in the building, which was built without a permit in 2004 by the right-wing group Ateret Cohanim.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said in February that he would enforce a court order to seal off the home, even though the municipality is in the process of creating a plan to deal with illegal construction in Silwan that includes grandfathering in Beit Yonatan and about 70 illegally built Palestinian homes. Barkat is traveling abroad and did not visit the site Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, Israeli security forces razed several structures at the illegal outpost of Maoz Esther, located north of Kochav HaShachar and east of Ramallah. Several structures, including one said to be a synagogue, also were razed at the Ramat Migron outpost, several miles north of Jerusalem and a satellite of the illegal Migron outpost.

Both outposts have been destroyed in the past and rebuilt by settlers.
 

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