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Attorney General: Settlers' building in East Jerusalem must be sealed off immediately

Both the municipality and police have postponed implementing court order to evacuate Beit Yonatan, settled by nationalist Jews in the middle of Silwan.

By Haaretz Service 

17 November 2010

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Wednesday order the Jerusalem municipality to seal of immediately a controversial Jewish residence in the center of an Arab neighborhood.

The seven-story building known as Beit Yonatan, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, has been at the center of the settlement debate for the last few years. Numerous courts have ordered the residents to evacuate and seal off the building, but neither the police nor the municipality has moved toward enforcing the order.

Beit Yonatan-  Daniel Bar-On- Feb. 8, 2010

Beit Yonatan in Silwan Feb. 8, 2010

Photo by: Daniel Bar-On

Representatives of the settlers have managed to delay evacuation repeatedly with various court claims. In September, however, a Jerusalem court rejected their most recent petition.

While municipal surveyors have already assessed the building to be sealed, the residents have still not evacuated.

The Beit Yonatan, named for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, was built without the proper permits. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat earlier this year bowed to pressure from legal officials and said he would uphold the court order to evacuate and seal off the building, though he added that he was doing so under protest.