Israeli judiciary postpones decision on deportation of Palestinians to Sheikh Jarrah

(Jerusalem) The Israeli Supreme Court on Monday postponed its ruling in favor of settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Palestinian families at risk of displacement, a case that sparked an outbreak of violence in May.

Posted on August 2, 2021 at 1:07 pm

Hiba ASLAN Agence France-Presse

Four Palestinian families living in Sheikh Jarrah, in the Palestinian sector of Jerusalem, which was occupied and annexed by Israel in 1967, appealed to the Supreme Court after the lower courts ruled their evacuation in favor of Israeli settlers.

But in Israel, with a few exceptions, it is only possible to go to the Supreme Court once, and it has already ruled in favor of the evacuation in the past. Palestinian families are therefore waiting to see if they can, as an exception, make a new appeal.

“The court may allow us to appeal,” the families’ attorney Sami Irshaid told AFP, suggesting that it is “unlikely” that a final decision will be made in the case.

At the center of the process is the ownership of land on which houses are being built in which Palestinians live but which are sought after by settlers in East Jerusalem.

If Jews can prove that their family lived in East Jerusalem prior to the 1948 war, Israeli law allows them to request that their “right to property” be returned to them. However, there is no such law for Palestinians who lost their property during the war.

Become a tenant?

Palestinian families said Monday they had received an offer to stay in their homes as “sheltered tenants” by paying a modest rent, but admitted that the apartments were owned by Israelis.

“They put enormous pressure on us to agree with the settlers that we would rent from settler organizations. But of course we refused, ”said Mohammad el-Kurd, an activist who, as one of the four Palestinian families, is at the center of this affair.

After hours of hearings, Judge Isaac Amit asked the parties for new documents, indicating that the court “will make a decision later,” but without specifying a date in the case, which has become volatile in the Holy City and beyond.

11 days of war

Several dozen people demonstrated in front of the Supreme Court on Monday to support Palestinian families in this case, which is also making headlines abroad by highlighting the issue of colonizing East Jerusalem.

In May, protests in support of Sheikh Jarrah’s Palestinian residents led to clashes with settlers and the Israeli police, and an outbreak of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Then there were clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces on the Esplanade des Mosques, the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site for Judaism, also in East Jerusalem.

Then from May 10-21 a blitzkrieg broke out between the ruling Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip and Israel, in which 260 Palestinians, including children and fighters, and 13 people in Israel, including a soldier, a child and a girl Teens, ended fatally.

According to Ir Amim, an Israeli association that oversees the development of the settlements in Jerusalem, up to 1,000 Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and the neighboring Silwan district are at risk of being displaced in favor of settlers.

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