New tactics: Israeli police conduct patrols using civilian cars, pursuing Palestinians and issuing traffic tickets


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A police man stops Abbas Hajaj in front of his house

Sunday, 22 January, 2012 | 18:00 | Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem

 

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — Israeli Authorities began using a new technique to pursue Palestinians in order to issue expensive

 

traffic tickets. Police have begun to rent civilian cars to pursue Palestinian drivers in Silwan. One Silwan resident stated that, “they forgot to write ‘only for harassing Palestinians,’ on their civilian car.”Today, Thursday, 19 January 2012, a police patrol in a civilian car pursued a Palestinian driver and issued an expensive traffic ticket to him. By coincidence the photographer of Silwanic was in the area and began photographing the incident. The Israeli police officers tried to prevent him from taking photographs and asked to see his ID under the pretext that photographing police officers is illegal according to Israeli law.The streets of Silwan suffer from the lack of proper infrastructure. Cars have to navigate the many cracks in the road caused by excavation and the

 

construction of underground tunnels. In addition, the streets are neglected by the Jerusalem Municipality and many of the streets are partially blocked with concrete barriers used to support the excavation. Although scheduled for removal, these barriers remain in place as the company contracted to install and remove them is bankrupt. The Jerusalem Municipality has not taken any action to close the dangerous holes that excavation and construction activities opened in the streets, or install traffic signs to warn drivers and pedestrians of the lack of pavement on the sides of streets. The only signs that currently exist in Silwan provide information about excavation and tourist activities run by the settlement association ELAD, which is forcing Palestinian

 

residents of Silwan out of their homes and off their land. The Palestinians in Silwan are using very old, damaged streets. Since the settlers have come to Silwan, investment in the neighbourhood has increased in order to develop tourism in the interest of settlers (City of David settlement). These investments don’t bring any benefits to the Palestinian residents of Silwan; on the contrary, the City of David activities destroyed a wide area of land belonging to Palestinians. Since the excavations and tunnel construction began, some streets in Silwan have partially collapsed and the foundations of houses and mosques have been badly damaged- at times rendering the structures unusable. Most empty land in the area has been placed under to the control of ELAD and restrictions on

 

Palestinians are increasing daily. One long-time Silwan resident says, “They (police) issued a ticket to my son because he was driving in a zigzag way, so how can he drive straight if the streets are full of dangerous holes everywhere?” Another youth stated that, “All the cities in the world are developing according to the residents’ needs but Jerusalem develops according to the settlers’ agenda and the discrimination and segregation policies.

 


 

 

 Rented civilian car used by the Israeli police

Source Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem.


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