Israeli border policemen carry security barriers before Palestinian Muslim worshippers perform traditional Friday prayers in the Arab east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ras al-Amud September 26, 2014.REUTERS/Ammar Awad
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Israeli settlers forcefully took over 25 apartments in Arab east Jerusalem Tuesday, residents and Palestinian leaders said, with the new occupants claiming they had legitimately bought the properties.Mohammed al-Khayat, whose family owns three apartments in one Silwan building, told AFP settlers had broken the locks on empty properties and then changed them.Silwan, an Arab neighbourhood were a few hundred hardcore settlers live, is often the scene of violence between the two sides, or between young Palestinians and police.Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat blamed Netanyahu for encouraging illegal Israeli settlement in Palestinian areas. Later Tuesday, Housing Minister Uri Ariel visited the neighbourhood in solidarity with the settlers, Channel 10 television reported.
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