Jerusalem city inspectors were videotaped seizing merchandise from elderly Palestinian women, then chasing them away from the Damascus Gate plaza at the Old City.
The city called the video a “deceitful manipulation on the part of the vendors.”
The women who sell fresh vegetables, olives and grape leaves, either from their own gardens or that they pick elsewhere, are familiar to many Jerusalemites and have long become a fixture of the Old City.
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Some inspectors were documented approaching the women seated outside Damascus Gate and trying to confiscate their goods. In the video the women hasten to put away their goods to try to prevent them from being seized.
While the vendors were being chased off, some of their goods fell to the ground, and several women could be seen picking up some olives. In at least one instance an inspector seized one of the women’s wares.
The municipality said in response: ‘We regret that once again the manipulative lies of the vendors is being given a platform. The merchandise was not toppled by the inspectors, who requested repeatedly that they clear the area, but by the vendors who did so in order to create a false presentation of supposed violence being used against them. These are vendors from the territories operating illegally and without permits, disrupting businesses at the site, blocking passageways and sidewalks, and endangering pedestrians.”