Israeli court postpones compulsory removal of Silwan | News

An Israeli court has postponed a hearing in the case of two Palestinian families who are in forced fury of eviction from their homes in the Batn al-Hawa area in the occupied East Jerusalem district of Silwan.

The Ghaith and Abu Nab families have joined a group of supporters who gathered outside the Israeli central court on Thursday to protest against the forced evictions.

Israeli forces attacked the protesters and arrested three Palestinians identified as Basel al-Dweik, Adel al-Silwadi and Nitham Abu Ramooz.

The court hearing was postponed until August 7

The Ghaith and Abu Nab families are facing hundreds of thousands of forced evictions from their homes in the Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods, where organizations of Israeli settlers are trying to replace Palestinians with Israelis.

Israeli forces detain a Palestinian outside the Israeli Central Court in occupied East Jerusalem on June 10, 2021, during a protest against the forced displacement of Israeli Palestinian families from their homes in the Silwan district. [Ahmad Gharabli/AFP]

Last month, an Israeli court he postponed his decision on an appeal filed by seven other Palestinian families in Silwan who are facing forced eviction from their homes.

Earlier this week, the Jerusalem municipality issued a series of demolition orders to residents of the al-Bustan area in Silwan. Affected families, made up of about 1,500 people, were given 21 days to evacuate and demolish their homes themselves. Failure to do so will mean that the municipality will have to demolish the houses and the families will have to cover the demolition costs.

Since 2005, al-Bustan residents have received warnings to demolish nearly 90 houses under the pretext of building without a permit, in support of a settler organization seeking to transform the land into a national park and link it to the ‘Archaeological’ City of David ‘park.

According to Grassroots Jerusalem, a Palestinian NGO, both the demolition of houses and forced evictions ordered by the court are tactics used to expel Palestinian residents.

In a statement Thursday, Palestinian rights organization Al-Haq said Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem make up the majority of the population, but “Israeli zoning laws have allocated 35 percent of the land area to the construction of illegal settlements by Israeli settlers. “

Another 52 percent of the land area has been “assigned as“ green zones ”and“ unplanned zones ”where construction is prohibited,” the statement said.

An image taken on June 3, 2021, shows Silwan, just outside the Old City in East Jerusalem occupied by Israel. [Thomas Coex/AFP]

‘Clear discrimination’

Silwan is located south of the Old City of Jerusalem, adjacent to its walls.

At least 33,000 Palestinians live in the neighborhood, which has been targeted by Israeli settler organizations for years. In some cases, Palestinian residents have been forced to share houses with settlers.

Some of these families have lived in Silwan for more than fifty years since they were displaced from the Old City in the 1960s.

In 2001, Ateret Cohanim, an organization of Israeli settlers whose goal was to acquire land and increase the Jewish presence in occupied East Jerusalem, took control of a historically trusted Jewish land.

Established in the 19th century, the trust bought land in the area to transfer Yemeni Jews to the era. The settlers ’organization said in court that the trust it controls owns the land.

Under Israeli law, if Jews can prove that their families lived in East Jerusalem before the creation of Israel in 1948, they can demand the “return” of their property, even if Palestinian families have lived there for decades. The law applies only to Israelis and Palestinians do not have the same rights under the law.

“There is clear discrimination here, where Jews can claim any property they claim to have in the past before 1948, while Palestinians who have lost their homeland in 500 countries in Israel, including West Jerusalem, cannot not claim their property, ”Mohammed Dahleh, a lawyer representing some of the Silwan families, told Al Jazeera.

“These families cannot claim their properties, even if they hold Israeli identity cards and are considered as residents of the state of Israel by Israeli law,” he continued. “

“This means that this community, if Israeli courts eventually approve of this type of forced displacement, will become refugees for the second time.”

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