Jerusalem man stabbed to death possibly over issue of selling homes to Jews

Neighbors who witnessed the fight allege that the argument was over the hot-button issue of selling homes to Jews in the predominantly-Arab neighborhood.

October 10, 2014 07:28
1 minute read.
East Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood

East Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

A 20-year-old man was stabbed to death in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem, Israel Radio reported on Friday.

Israel Police reported that the man was killed following an argument that broke out between family members. It is not yet clear which family members were involved

Neighbors who witnessed the fight told police that the argument was over the hot-button issue of selling homes to Jews in the predominantly Arab neighborhood.

Most recently, on September 30, seven residences adjacent to the capital’s Old City were purchased by Elad, a right-wing organization that uses funds from Jewish supporters in the United States and elsewhere to buy properties in Arab districts.

According to police, during a brief confrontation, one officer was lightly wounded by a rock that a protester threw.

“In terms of the police perspective, the homes were legally sold to the Jewish families, who were escorted by officers to prevent incidents from local Arab residents,” a police spokesman said, adding that there had been no arrests.

Tuesday’s move was the largest Jewish purchase of homes in Silwan since the process began in the neighborhood in 1986, raising the number of Jewish-owned properties to 26, local officials said. Around 90 Jewish families, totaling 500 people, live in Silwan among an estimated 50,000 Arabs.

Fadi Maragha, a local Fatah representative, said he felt that the broker who sold homes to Jews should die.

In the past, Palestinians found to have sold their homes to Jewish organizations have been killed.

"There is absolutely no connection between the parties involved in the killing in Silwan overnight Thursday and any real estate transactions between Jews and Arabs in the vicinity," said Ze'ev Orenstein, the director of international affairs for the Elad Foundation.

"The events took place in the context of a local clan dispute. This is nothing more than an effort to inflame tensions between local Arabs and Jews."

Daniel K. Eisenbud contributed to this report.

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