So much for Israeli indications just before the May 2015 Congress that they would help develop Palestinian football facilities. Exactly the opposite has happened. The Maan News Agency reports that an Israeli court has ruled to demolish a football field and its facilities in Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, a local committee said Thursday.
The owners of the property, located in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, received a demolition order in the mail over 70 days after the court had passed the ruling at the beginning of June, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center said. The “demolition and removal” order had allowed for an appeal to be lodged within 30 days of the ruling. The ruling includes the demolition of a 1.5 dunam sports field as well as a neighboring warehouse and animal shed.
Silwan committee member Ahmad Qaraeen said the ruling required that anyone who chose to object to the order would be fined and forced to pay demolition and removal fees. He added that Israeli authorities are aware that the owners of the land — the heirs to Atallah Siyam — regularly allowed the area to be used by Mada Creative center for activities. Qareen said that the Israeli municipality attempted to confiscate the land in 2007 and turn it into a parking lot, but that the move was appealed in court and the land owners built a football field on the property in 2009 after receiving approval from the central court. In 2012, the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority demolished several of the family’s facilities under the pretense of “removing trash,” he added.