Jewish families move into eastern Jerusalem Arab neighborhood


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rioting erupted as several Jewish families moved into apartments in the eastern Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Silwan.

The Jews moved in late Monday night amid protests by Arab rioters who threw rocks and fireworks and attempted to enter one of the homes, according to reports. One policeman was injured in the attacks.

Kandel Finance, an American company, purchased the six buildings, which contain 25 apartments, Walla!News reported. The Jewish families reportedly are currently living in 11 of the apartments. The Elad organization, which is working to solidify a Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem, assisted in the arrangements.

Some Silwan residents have questioned the legality of the purchase, saying the buildings belong to three established Arab families in the neighborhood, the Times of Israel reported.

The apartments were vacant when the Jewish families moved into them, a local Israeli-Arab activist told Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency.

Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat told the Times of Israel that the Israeli government is being run “by the settlers and for settlers. It serves the objective of altering the character of Jerusalem through isolating, containing and confining Palestinian existence, allowing for more Israeli land grabs and attempts at changing the identity and demography of Palestine and particularly of occupied East Jerusalem.”

About 50 families live in Silwan, known to Jews as Shiloach, located next to the City of David and across from the Western Wall.

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