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Israeli Gov’t Likely to Delay Sheikh Jarrah Evictions ahead of Bennett’s Washington Visit

Israeli Gov’t Likely to Delay Sheikh Jarrah Evictions ahead of Bennett’s Washington Visit

Thursday, 29 July, 2021 - 06:45
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa (center) visiting Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood (AFP)

The Israeli government will likely delay the verdict in the controversial court case looking to evict Palestinian residents of Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, revealed a source close to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Bennett’s government is seriously considering postponing the court session scheduled for next Monday, said the source, without specifying how such a delay would be ensured.

However, the source hinted that it is possible to freeze proceedings for another six months.

The Times of Israel cited the source stressing that the government coalition will avoid evicting the families even if the Supreme Court’s decision orders otherwise.

Discussions in the prime minister’s office on the matter come as Bennett readies for his first trip to the White House as premier. No date has been scheduled yet for the visit, but sometime in mid-August is more likely as the Knesset will be in recess.

However, a decision to move forward with the evictions could cause problems for the trip to the US, given Washington’s firm opposition to the move.

The evictions have become a rallying cry for Palestinians in recent months and sparked violent clashes in East Jerusalem that spread far beyond the contested city and were partly responsible for the flare-up between Israel and Gaza terror groups in May.

In other news, Israel intends to increase by 15,000 workers the quota of Palestinian residents of the southern and northern West Bank working in the field of construction.

Another 1,000 permits will be issued to Palestinians working in Israeli hotels, an official statement revealed.

The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions considered the hike in permits as “political exploitation.”

The announcement followed discussions between Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Moreover, the move to increase permits for Palestinian workers suggests that Israel is heeding Washington’s warning on the Palestinian Authority facing an unprecedented political and economic crisis.

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