Israeli Authorities block foundation’s use of historical East Jerusalem building for school


Tuesday, 6 September, 2011 | 11:54 |  Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — Israeli forces have closed off the historical Ahmad Sameh al-Khaldi buildings in Abu Tur district adjacent to Silwan to the public for one month. The buildings were leased by the local Abbasi family to a foundation for use as a school; however, authorities are claiming that the properties in fact belong to the Hamas party.

The building, which was constructed in 1948, traditionally housed a school under the Jordanian mandate of East Jerusalem and then under the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality. In 2009 the Municipality returned title of the buildings to the original owners, the Abbasi family, claiming that the structures were classified as unsafe. The owners then leased the buildings to the Survival Foundation, for use as a school.

Although Israeli authorities recognise the Foundation, the lease was blocked by the authorities, who have now sealed off the building for a period of one month, with the possibility to extend to one year. Authorities now claim that Hamas hold the deeds to the property.
One of the title-holders stated that the buildings do not belong to the Survival Foundation, thus rendering the authorities’ actions mistaken. The Survival Foundation, a licensed charity since 2005, does not own the property under Israeli law and the attempt to block their use of the buildings is unwarranted.


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