Officers from the Jerusalem Police District notified activists from Our Land of Israel Wednesday that they could go ahead with their planned march at the neighborhood of Shiloach (Silwan) in eastern Jerusalem Sunday. The activists will be led by Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel.
They plan to march from the Givati parking lot near the Kotel up to the center of the Shiloach neighborhood (also referred to as a village) which is mostly populated by Arabs. The Jewish presence in Shiloach – which was a Jewish village in the past – presently consists of eight families that inhabit a building called Beit Yehonatan. Police set limits on the march, however: only 70 activists may participate and they must not carry weapons.
The march will proceed along a 700-meter route, and police want it to end after one hour.
The nationalist activists said that the march through Shiloach marks “the beginning of the struggle for law enforcement in Jerusalem.”
"We expect the 'chivalrous knights who want Beit Yehonatan sealed in the name of the rule of law to march along with us and demand the demolition of 216 illegal buildings in the Arab village,” they said sarcastically.
Demolitions at Shiloach have become a point of fierce contention between the legal establishment and the municipality. While the state prosecution has demanded that Beit Yehonatan be sealed immediately, the municipality under Mayor Nir Barkat said it would not act against Beit Yehonatan without also taking action against dozens of illegal houses inhabited by Arabs.
The nationalists vowed to persist in their struggle in Shiloach until the authorities carry out the demolitions ordered by the courts: “We will return to the village time and time again," they said, "we will take pictures, record, document, file petitions to the High Court, carry out a public struggle until the State of Israel proves that it is the ruling authority in Jerusalem, and ceases the ethnic discrimination of enforcing the law only against Jews.”
Ben Gvir and Marzel, who reside in Hevron, have marched in other Arab-Jewish hotspots including Umm El-Fahm.