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Landslide threatens 40 homes in East Jerusalem

Dec. 13, 2013 7:43 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 15, 2013 6:04 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Landslides occurred Friday in an East Jerusalem neighborhood as a result of heavy snow accumulation, threatening at least 40 nearby houses located on lands previously weakened by Israeli authorities' excavations nearby, a local group said.

Landslides led to the degradation of hillsides in the Ain al-Lowza neighborhood of Silwan, opening cracks and threatening 40 nearby houses with potential destruction, the Wadi Helwa Information Center said.

A statement from the group said previous excavations by Israel to build a wall through the area have caused extensive damage to the ground, and the effects of the storm have exacerbated the negative effects.

The majority of the landslides occurred in a large plot of land owned by local resident Abu Tayeh where 40 homes have been built.

Abu Tayeh said it was the first time he had experienced such a severe problem on his land, blaming Israeli authorities for failing to complete work they had started on a neighborhood wall.

"The Israeli municipality does not weigh the value of people's lives," he said.

"They are responsible for causing this collapse, and we demand the completion of the construction of the fence."

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