Sheikh Jarrah: Hundreds in East Jerusalem face eviction

Written by Staff Writer, CNN Sheikh Jarrah: Several hundred Palestinian families face eviction on the grounds of illegal construction after the Supreme Court rejected their claims, according to UNICEF . The court ruling followed…

Sheikh Jarrah: Hundreds in East Jerusalem face eviction

Written by Staff Writer, CNN

Sheikh Jarrah: Several hundred Palestinian families face eviction on the grounds of illegal construction after the Supreme Court rejected their claims, according to UNICEF .

The court ruling followed a long-running legal case against the Jarrah community, in East Jerusalem, owned by an Israeli company and registered with the UN International Labour Organization.

Wednesday’s decision by a three-judge panel upheld appeals by the Israel Lands Authority, which owns land belonging to the community, in question, and the Israeli state.

‘Fury’

In a statement, UNICEF said the families’ lawyer called the decision “a slap in the face,” adding that it “is the latest in a string of actions that have evicted some 800 Palestinian families from their homes” in East Jerusalem.

UNICEF called for an urgent review of the decision by the High Court of Justice, and further guarantees by Israel to protect the rights of Sheikh Jarrah’s residents, who have been through many other rounds of litigation with the courts in the past.

The family members affected said they felt the decision would continue a process of expropriation and expansion of land in the eastern part of the city.

Jerusalem resident Nadim Mu’mineh described the decision as “regretful, if not very painful for us.”

“This decision will not make me happy. It confirms the injustices that have been done to us since the Israeli occupation started,” Mu’mineh said in a statement, adding that there had been a change in atmosphere since the Council of Europe’s investigation into the displacement of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah , and during the recent Palestinian reconciliation agreement in the West Bank.

“Before, there was nothing. Now we hear messages and feel anger in the air.”

Hamas responsible?

High court panel vice-president Pini Yacob defended the verdicts.

Yacob said in a statement that “In this instance the High Court of Justice is operating within the parameters established by Israeli and international law.”

He added that the Palestinians were “blocking the [Israeli] side from conducting negotiations in an atmosphere conducive to settling the claims.”

The Israeli Supreme Court last month granted the government the right to take over the Palestinian properties for new housing.

“It is very very difficult to remove the pressure by this court to return the homes to the settlement,” Ninyelm Kikkim, an assistant general counsel for Israel’s Housing Ministry, said at the time, “but the Palestinians are liable to be sent to jail.”

According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, housing construction of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem totaled 3,161 in the first eight months of the year, a seven-fold increase from the same period last year.

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