The Abu Nab family in their family home before it was taken
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Thursday prevented a Palestinian family from entering their home in the Batan al-Hawa area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, a local organization said.Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli settlers who live in the area prevented Rania Abu Nab and her four children, aged 4 to 14-years-old, from entering the home, before Israeli police arrived at the scene reportedly in support of the settlers.
An Israeli police spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment.
Abu Nab said she had left her home to meet with UNRWA employees, who were prevented from visiting her at home by Israeli settlers in the area.
When Abu Nab tried to come home, the main gate of the compound where her home is was reportedly locked and the Israeli settlers did not allow her back into the house. She added that they did not provide any reason and mockingly told her “keep having meetings and interviews.”Abu Nab’s husband, Jawad, was also denied entry to the house when he arrived, and phoned his lawyer.Abu Nab’s house is in a housing compound where several houses have already been taken over by Israeli settlers this year.
Peace Now, a human rights organization, has documented that during the past year, settlers have doubled their presence in the Batan al-Hawa area of Silwan, noting that an overnight takeover in August expanded the illegal Israeli settlement from 10 to 35 Jewish families.
Around 500 settlers live in Silwan among a population of 45,000 Palestinians, one of mainly enclaves in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods surrounding the Old City, such as Ras al-Amud, al-Tur, Abu Dis, and Sheikh Jarrah.
Illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem are designed to prevent any division of the city — as is called for in the two state solution — and to create a Jewish majority population in the city.
East Jerusalem is considered occupied Palestinian territory under international law.