East Jerusalem Resident Murdered, Following Sale of Home to Settlers

Tensions in Silwan rose markedly since a group of young settlers moved into a home in the neighborhood earlier this week.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Israeli police officers guard entrance to the house of Ziad Qarain, that Jewish settlers moved into, in Silwan, E. Jerusalem. Sept. 30, 2014.
Israeli police officers guard entrance to the house of Ziad Qarain, that Jewish settlers moved into, in Silwan, E. Jerusalem. Sept. 30, 2014.Credit: AP
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

A resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood Silwan was stabbed to death early on Friday.

Residents of Silwan told Haaretz that the murder was a result of an argument over a stairway among neighbor cousins and not due to a sale of a property to Jewish buyers, as reported earlier. A property next door also belonging to the family was sold to settlers, who moved in last week. "Everything that happened last week raised tensions in the family, which led to murder," a neighbor told Haaretz.

The victim, 50, and according to the accounts of sources in Silwan the murderer too, are members of one of the families, whose home was occupied by young Jewish settlers earlier this week. These new residents are staying in the home temporarily until its permanent residents move in. According to sources in Silwan, the murder is not related to this house but rather to an adjacent home that was also sold to a Jewish buyer but has yet to be occupied.

Since settlers moved into some 25 apartments in the neighborhood overnight earlier this week, the tensions in Silwan have risen markedly. Many of the neighborhood's residents have been pointing angry fingers at their fellow residents for selling their properties to Jewish buyers.

"The murder was because of the stairs but everything that happened really increased the tensions in the family, a neighbor told Haaretz. "Today it is enough that you purchase a new car and you are blamed for cooperating with the Jews."

Some have alleged that Farid Haj Yahya a former senior official of the Islamic Movement in Israel served as a front man for the real estate deals that led to the Jewish settlers’ move into buildings in East Jerusalem’s Silwan village earlier this week.

A representative for Elad, the settler group working to enlarge the Jewish presence in Silwan, told Haaretz that "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."

The drawing of a line between the recent influx of Jews to the neighborhood and the murder "is nothing more than an effort to enflame tensions between local Arabs and Jews," he added.

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