Israel's Jerusalem District Court ratified on Thursday the eviction of 87 Palestinians from the Batan al-Hawa area in Silwan in favor of the Israeli settler group Ateret Cohanim. This falls under the continuous Israeli procedures aiming at Judaizing the occupied East Jerusalem.
Ateret Cohanim had sued the residents of Batan al-Hawa, claiming that the land was owned by Yemeni Jews during the Ottoman period until 1938, when the British Mandate moved them due to political tensions.
The Palestinians responded that they feel like refugees in their own country. They added that before 1948, they owned lands and properties in Jerusalem, however, the Israeli authorities prohibit them from returning there.
Hagit Ofran, activist and director of the Peace Now's Settlement Watch team, expressed real concern that the settlers might attempt to implement the eviction order in the coming days before US president-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20.
Ofran ruled out Biden’s capability of hindering the process, but hoped that it would be on his agenda.
Minister for Settlement Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi also announced that the Israeli government intends to go ahead with plans to legalize dozens of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, many of which are built on privately-owned Palestinian land.
Peace Now affirmed that Benyamin Netanyahu's government is racing against time to ratify the construction of thousands of settlement units in the occupied Jerusalem and West Bank during this period.
In this context, Likud MK and former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat has launched a plan to tighten the grip on Palestinian lands in terms of expanding the construction of settlements and industrial zones in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.