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Settlers take over 2 buildings in East Jerusalem

Oct. 20, 2014 10:15 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 22, 2014 11:05 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Armed Jewish settlers took over two buildings in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Monday, a local group said.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that a group of armed settlers raided Silwan at 2 a.m. and occupied two buildings consisting of 10 apartments.

The owners of the buildings, Salah al-Rajabi and Imran al-Qawasmi, sold the properties to a Palestinian man identified as Shams al-Din al-Qawasmi, who in turn sold the buildings to Jewish settler groups, the center said.

The previous Palestinian tenants left the buildings over four months ago.

There are now four settlement outposts in the heart of the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, the center said, increasing fears of a gradual Jewish takeover of the strategic area.

The settler news site Arutz Sheva quoted Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King as saying: "This morning the Jewish population in the Yemenite Village doubled."

He encouraged further Jewish settlement of the area.

In September, settlers occupied 23 houses in Silwan and forcibly evicted the residents of an apartment.

East Jerusalem is internationally recognized as Palestinian territory, but Israel occupied it in 1967 and later annexed it in a move never considered legitimate abroad.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.
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