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VOICE OF AMERICA
SLUG: 2-314624 Israel / Settlers
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=03/31/2004

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=ISRAEL / SETTLERS (L-ONLY)

NUMBER=2-314624

BYLINE=ROSS DUNN

DATELINE=JERUSALEM

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: A group of Jewish settlers has moved into homes in a largely Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem, sparking riots by Palestinian residents. The fighting came just hours after Israeli troops had dismantled an illegal Jewish outpost in the West Bank. Ross Dunn reports from Jerusalem.

TEXT: When 11 Jewish families arrived in the neighborhood of Silwan in Jerusalem before dawn on Wednesday, they were immediately attacked by Palestinian residents.

As the families carried their belongings into their new homes, Palestinians hurled rocks at them and police were called in to intervene.

The police were also pelted with rocks and several officers were injured. At least six Palestinians were arrested before order was restored.

Jews had lived in the neighborhood since 1882 but many moved out because of repeated attacks. The last Jewish residents were evacuated in the 1930s following widespread Arab riots in the region, during the period of the British mandate.

Today most residents of Silwan are Palestinians who refused to accept Israeli citizenship after Israel captured east Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War.

In recent years, some right-wing Israeli organizations have begun buying homes in Silwan and other areas of east Jerusalem, claiming that Jews have the right to re-settle them.

This has angered the Palestinian leadership, which says east Jerusalem must not be settled by Jews and should be set side to become the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The Palestinian leadership is also calling for the removal of all Jewish settlements from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In a separate development Wednesday, some three-hundred Israeli police and soldiers dismantled the illegal Jewish outpost of Hazon David, near Hebron in the West Bank.

The site consisted only of a tent and a shack, which served as a synagogue but Jewish settlers say this was to become the foundation of a new community. Despite the dismantling of the outpost, the settlers say they will make new efforts to populate the area in the near future.

Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers guarding a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip have shot and killed two Palestinians suspected of planning an attack. (Signed)

NEB/RD/MAR



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