British Deputy Consul General Mr. James Downer visits Al Tur and Silwan

  • Date: 2017-06-14

The Society of St. Yves – Catholic Center for Human Rights, in cooperation with the Norwegian Refugee Council accompanied the British Consulate General, headed by Deputy Consul General, Mr. James Downer on Tuesday the 13th of June 2017 on a field visit Al Tur and Silwan neighborhoods in East-Jerusalem, visiting two families suffering from residency issues and house demolition policies.   

The British Consulate General team and the NRC started by visiting a case handled by St. Yves Al-Tur, where Mrs. where (M.A) gave her testimony on the complications that the Israeli Ministry of Interior has been imposing on her although she has been living in Jerusalem for decades, she also explained how her residency status have affected her and her family on a social and financial level as she was denied of working in her field due to her residency status on one hand, on the other hand her children are still in school and are suffering from the instability that these procedures have had on their family.

The second part of the visit was in Silwan, where another beneficiary of St. Yves met with the team. Mr. (H.A) addressed Deputy Consul General Mr. Downer, explaining to him his specific situation where his house is at risk of being demolished after decades of legal battles, Mr. (H.A) applied for a building permit but his request was constantly denied, he also insisted on how difficult is to live in constant threat of losing his home making him and his family homeless, he highlighted the effect on psychological and social effect it his on his entire family.

St. Yves concluded the visit by briefing Mr. Downer on the laws and policies used by the Israeli authorities aiming at forcibly transferring Palestinians from Jerusalem, specifically on the legal frameworks related to residency and house demolition issues.