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Israeli settlers move into Silwan home

Sept. 2, 2012 4:50 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 4, 2012 10:23 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli settlers, accompanied by police guards, moved into a section of a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem on Sunday, locals said.

Israeli authorities had informed the Hamdullah family they would have to evacuate part of their home in the Silwan neighborhood of Ras al-Amud after a court ruling said it belonged to settlers, local group the Wadi al-Hilweh information center said.

The family says they have been living on the premises since 1952 after purchasing the land from the al-Ghoul family.

Israeli daily Haaretz said that settler patron Irwin Moskowitz bought the land in 1990 from Orthodox Jewish groups, who claimed they had bought the land before 1948.

In 2005 a Jerusalem court ruled that the family must evacuate all buildings constructed after 1989.

Moskowitz wants to expand Maaleh Hazeitim, the largest settlement in East Jerusalem, on the land.

The Hamdullah home lies in a critical neighborhood near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the site of a number of settlements and controversial Israeli archeological digs, which residents fear are intended to cement Israeli control over the area.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem -- regarded as the capital of a future Palestinian state -- after a 1967 war, a move never recognized by the international community.
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