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Israel threatens to deport J'lem protesters

June 21, 2010 9:20 A.M. (Updated: June 22, 2010 9:48 A.M.)
Jerusalem – Ma'an – Israel is set to take action against Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, sources told Ma'an, as media reports claim municipal officials will soon begin mass demolitions of Al-Bustan homes.

Israeli security circles reportedly recommended sanctions on Jerusalemite families whose children partake in protests against Israel, according to Hebrew-language media sources in Israel. Reports said officials give directives to the interior ministry and National Insurance Institute to use their weight against residents.

Punishments could include the revocation of Jerusalem residency rights, re-evaluation of taxes owed and reduction in welfare benefits to the tax-paying residents of Palestinian neighborhoods, sources said.

Several complains from Jerusalemites had already been received, as families were threatened with deportation, the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights said in a statement. At least two teenagers known to have been involved in protests against Israeli settlers, home evictions and planned demolitions, received unofficial warning from Israeli intelligence officers.

The two were told they would be deported if they continue to "incite" against the state of Israel.

Four Palestinian lawmakers affiliated with Hamas' Change and Reform bloc were given notice that their Jerusalem residency was being revoked, while Director of the Palestinian prisoner’s society in Jerusalem Nasser Qaws and senior Fatah official Hatim Abdul Qader were also put on alert by Israeli forces.

In 2008, Israel revoked 466 Jerusalem residency cards, with the number expected to skyrocket for 2010.

Silwan demolitions

A news conference for Israel's Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat is set to announce the construction of a national park on what will be the ruins of at least 88 homes in the Al-Bustan area of Silwan, in East Jerusalem. Plans to start demolitions will be authorized on Monday, Israeli media reported.

Silwan residents intend to hold a news conference of their own, and continue to push the municipality to accept an alternative city planning initiative, that would see the area "greened" and involve zero forced home demolitions.

Under the Israeli plan, families in the western half of Silwan - whose homes are set for demolition - must move into the homes of families from the eastern half. Residents of the eastern section who refuse to accommodate families will also face home demolitions, alternative planner Youssef Jabareen told Ma'an.

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