Beit Yehonatan
Beit Yehonatan Israel news photo: Flash 90

Police commissioner Dudi Cohen met Wednesday with senior police officers, Jerusalem city officials, and the outgoing Jerusalem Municipality Legal Counsel Yosi Havilio to discuss how to seal Beit Yehonatan, a six-story building in the City of David inhabited by Jewish families.

A source with knowledge of the meeting told Arutz Sheva that the meeting involved discussion of various scenarios that might arise during the sealing action, and how best to deal with them.

The demolition or sealing off of Jewish homes built on land claimed by PA Arabs is controversial, and has often led to clashes between demonstrators and police. Public attention was drawn to such clashes following the demolition of homes in Amona in 2006, during which some police officers beat peaceful protesters, injuring many. Several of the officers were later charged with brutality.

Jerusalem police may fear a repeat of past protests if they move against Beit Yehonatan, which is located in the Shiloach (Silwan) part of the City of David, the heart of historic Jerusalem,  a formerly Jewish neighborhood near the Old City.  It is now inhabited primarily by Arab families because in 1938 the British forced the Yemenite Jewish families whose neighborhood it had been for years to leave instead of defending them from Arab mobs.

Residents of Beit Yehonatan have petitioned the Supreme Court over plans to seal the building. They say that as no similar orders have been issued regarding the many illegal Arab buildings in the neighborhood, the order is clearly discriminatory.

The building is named for Jonathan Pollard.

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