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Israeli officials 'raid' and take pictures of Palestinian properties in Silwan

Aug. 11, 2017 10:32 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 12, 2017 3:54 P.M.)
Israeli forces stationed outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem (File)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an ) -- Israeli municipality officials and Israeli forces "raided" the neighborhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday morning and took pictures of streets and properties, sparking fear in residents of possible forthcoming Israeli demolitions.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli municipality officials and Israeli forces had "raided" several areas of the neighborhood in a “provocative tour" of the town in which the Israeli officials took pictures of several structures and streets from their vehicles.

Fakhri Abu Diab, spokesperson for a local committee defending Silwan’s lands, told Ma’an that the municipality officials have raided the neighborhood “daily” in an attempt to “frighten residents and create a state of instability.”

Abu Diab added that residents were often afraid when Israeli officials took pictures of certain structures in the neighborhood, as these incidents are often followed by the issuing of Israeli demolition orders.

Israeli officials are “attempting to pressure neighborhoods in Jerusalem as collective punishment for the efforts led by Jerusalemites,” Abu Diab added, likely referencing the two-week long mass civil disobedience campaign among Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem against Israeli policies at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli forces have since led a crackdown on individuals and neighborhoods allegedly involved in the protests.

A spokesperson for the Jerusalem municipality was not immediately available to comment on the incidents on Friday.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a biweekly average of 95 search and detention raids carried out over the course of 2016, according to UN documentation.
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