#Silwan – Information Center director faces new allegations in on-going trial

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Wednesday, 28 September, 2011 | 02:56 | Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — A session was held today in Jerusalem’s Central Court in the assault case lodged against Wadi Hilweh Information Center director Jawad Siyam. The session follows an appearance in the Magistrates Court two days previously, when the judge heard the Israeli prosecution’s allegations against Siyam, of alleged involvement with the Palestinian Authority and of continuously preventing Israeli settlers from buying property in Silwan.

The main witness, an Arab resident of East Jerusalem whose identity has not been disclosed to the public but claims to be head of the Jerusalem Merchants Committee, claims that Siyam physically assaulted him threatened to kidnap him and take him to the city of Jericho. The witness also alleged that Siyam introduced himself to him on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and as head of the Silwan Committee.
Siyam states that the witness is an employee of David Beiry, the director of Elad Settlement Association, and of aiding settlers in land appropriation by purchasing property himself to then in turn sell to settlers. Siyam claims that he himself was physically assaulted by the man in question, as were as many as 20 other residents of Silwan.

Siyam has been arrested numerous times by Israeli officials for his community activism in Silwan, and has served 4 months under house arrest. A smear campaign has been run against him by right-wing Israeli newspapers, while he and his family continue to suffer harassment and intimidation by Israeli authorities. His family home has been raided multiple times by Israeli forces.

Today’s session was requested to be closed to the public by the Palestinian witness, while Siyam’s lawyer insisted that it be open to the public.


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