Friday, 10 February 2012


Palestinians in the East Jerusalem town of Silwan are living in fear of imminent eviction. Last week Israeli authorities posted demolition orders on several houses in Silwan's al- Bustan neighbourhood, which they plan to develop into a theme park. With 1,000 people set to lose their homes, this would be the largest single mass demolition since 1967. Three days before the orders were issued, Israel shut down a local football club and a kindergarten.

Please take urgent action to help the Palestinians of Silwan save their homes

Silwan lies just outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City. Since the early 1990s the town has been targeted for Israeli settlement, largely coordinated by a charity called Elad (the city of David Foundation). For the al- Bustan neighbourhood Elad's plans are to build the "King's Gardens", a theme park for tourists to walk in the footsteps of the biblical King Soloman. But this  means sending in bulldozers to knock down the homes of families who have lived there for generations.

Even the British government has criticised the plans. On 30 December, minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said, " I condemn the decision by the Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee to build additional structures in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan... This is another provocative and deeply counter-productive step, the latest in a series by the Israeli authoritis." Yet Burt and the British government have done nothing to back up the comment, and continuesto offer Israel preferential treatment. This sends a message to the Israeli government that it can ignore the criticisms.

Please ask your MP to demand that the government takes concrete action to stop the bulldozers.

At present many children from Silwan take their toys to school every day, not wanting toleave behind in case their homes are knocked down. Your action will help end this climate of fear

Thak you for taking action to save Silwan

Best wishes

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