The Israeli Supreme Court has given 4 Palestinian families threatened with eviction from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem (or Al-Quds in Arabic) until next Thursday (6th May) to reach an agreement with a settlement company over land ownership.
And yesterday, Jerusalem’s District Court ruled that four families have to leave their homes by Sunday 2 May. The same court also ruled that a further seven families have to vacate their homes by 1 August.
These demands and evictions are being made in order to make way for Jewish settlers. Much of the funding for settlement in the area – particularly the legal campaigning by settlers, which has spanned decades – has come from American supporters of Israel.
Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood became famous for the resistance mounted by long-term Palestinian residents as they were forced from their homes. In 2009, weekly protests against evictions – protests that attracted the support of both Israeli’s and Palestinians – managed to halt a number of evictions.
The Supreme Court’s decision and today’s evictions are part of a wider campaign to expel Palestinians from their homes in Al-Quds and the wider West Bank, which is occupied by the state of Israel. According to the UN, almost 700 buildings across the occupied West Bank have been demolished – leaving 869 Palestinians homeless – in 2020 alone.
The Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood (or their forebearers) were housed there by Jordan in the years following the Nakba.
However, a relentless legal campaign has been waged against them. In October 2020, the Israeli magistrate court ruled that 12 of the 24 Palestinian families in the area should be evicted.
In February, 2021 a second court ruled that a further six Palestinian families should be evicted, from homes their families have lived in for 70 years.