Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) sent an urgent appeal to all the institutions of the international community and the relevant UN bodies to take urgent action to save dozens of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, Jerusalem, who are being subjected to a major wave of forced displacement.
The Israeli Central Court issued a final decision to evacuate 7 Palestinian families from their homes, which raises fears of a second wave of forced displacement.
On Friday afternoon, March 19, residents of Sheikh Jarrah had organized a protest to express their rejection of giving up their neighborhood to the occupation.
The Central Occupation Court arbitrarily rejected the appeal requests and decided last month that the first group must evacuate their homes before May 02, 2021, while the second group must evacuate their homes by August 01, 2021, with each family paying 20,000 shekels (equivalent to $6050) as compensation to the settlers.
The Occupation authorities are practicing serious violations against the Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah’s neighborhood, which is also a blatant breach of laws, treaties, and international conventions.
This is a clear falsification of history, as the neighborhood has been inhabited by Jerusalemite families for hundreds of years, and other families who were forcibly displaced from their homes in Jaffa and Haifa -according to an agreement between the Jordanian government and the UNRWA in 1956- joined the families of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the mid-fifties of the last century.
Under the aforementioned agreement, 28 displaced Palestinian families moved to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood as the Jordanian government built homes for them there.
In accordance with the terms of the agreement, the families were supposed to have the ownership documents of the lands after three years, however, they never got these documents, despite the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed to have delivered the documents to the Palestinian Embassy in Jordan in 2019, the matter which has not been clarified by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry yet.
The relocation of the Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood was ten years before the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, which proves the Israeli claims of ownership of these lands to Jewish families wrong.
Furthermore, none of the settlers who demand the eviction of these homes presented any ownership documents confirming their possession of these lands, while the Palestinian families presented an Ottoman document confirming the ownership of the land to the Palestinian Hijazi family, however, the occupation court completely ignored these facts.
The eviction decisions reveal the brutal and unfair policies of the occupation government in controlling Palestinian real estate in Jerusalem in order to displace Palestinians and change the Arab identity of Jerusalem.
About 28 Palestinian families living in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood are threatened with forced displacement at any moment. Should the occupation forces succeed in forcibly displacing the seven families, they will work very hard to displace the rest of the Palestinians from the area and will seize the lands.
AOHR UK called on the Jordanian government to respond to the lawyers of the families of those threatened with deportation and provide them with the required documents from the Jordanian Ministry of Works that prove their ownership to the lands.
AOHR UK pointed out that the extremist settler group Ateret Cohanim is seeking to transform the palace of Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini -which is built on 500 meters in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood- into a synagogue, as well as doubling the number of settlement units in the vicinity of the palace from 28 to 56 unit, in addition to other excavation and demolitions of the Palestinian territories within the 1948 division.
AOHR UK warned of the silence of the Palestinian Authority and the Jordanian government, stressing that failure to show these documents threatens the fate of hundreds of Palestinians and exposes them to a second wave of displacement that is as horrific as that following the Nakba in 1948.
AOHR UK stressed the urgent need to submit all files related to the displacement of families and demolishing homes in Jerusalem to the International Criminal Court to hold all those responsible for this crime accountable, including judges who help settlers’ control Palestinian real estate in the occupied Jerusalem.