Silwan is a Palestinian village with approximately 45,000 residents, located in occupied East Jerusalem, just below the southern wall of the Old City. Silwan is located near Al Aqsa Mosque and is home to a natural spring. Since the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, Silwan has been targeted by the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem and the settler movement. Palestinian residents of Silwan have fallen victim to the accelerated efforts by the Israeli government to confiscate Palestinian land and demolish Palestinian homes in order to gain full Jewish control of the area. This is part of the Municipal plan to Judaize Jerusalem and to displace the indigenous Palestinian population. The private settler organization El Ad, established in 1986, has been largely responsible for Jewish settlement in the area, running the 'City of David' park construction, and taking control of archaeological excavations that started soon after the occupation of Jerusalem. The Israeli government seeks to justify home demolitions through historical and religious claims to the land, which has led to the emergence of the Israeli-defined 'Holy Basin' area around the Old City.
Download the full Civic Coalition Factsheet on Silwan.