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UN: International Law Bars Eviction of Palestinians from their Homes

UN: International Law Bars Eviction of Palestinians from their Homes

Wednesday, 4 August, 2021 - 06:30
Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah attend the Israeli supreme court hearing on August 2, 2021. (AFP)

The UN reiterated on Tuesday its rejections of Israel’s settlement activities and its expulsion of Palestinian families from Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.


The agency said that the evictions and demolitions of homes in the neighborhood are illegal under international law.


At a press briefing on Monday, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said that the UN is watching closely the Israeli Supreme Court proceedings on the evictions from Sheikh Jarrah


“We’re, obviously, following what’s going on in the court closely. Our understanding is that a final ruling is expected later in the week,” Dujarric said, stressing that all settlement activities, including evictions and demolitions, are illegal under international law.


The US State Department similarly said that it was deeply concerned about the potential eviction of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, many of whom have lived in their homes for generations.


On Monday, Israel’s Supreme Court postponed a decision in the case.


Four Palestinian families petitioned the high court to hear their appeal and eventually allow them to remain in their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood where Israeli settlers claim ownership of the land.


The families’ lawyer, Sami Irshaid, said that proposal was unacceptable and that they were waiting for the Supreme Court to set a date to continue the hearings in the hope it leads to the reversal of a lower court ruling to evict.


On Tuesday, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry accused the Israeli judiciary of being complicit in the government’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem.


It said that despite the presentation of documents obtained from Jordan that prove ownership of the families of their homes, the Israeli court nevertheless refused to recognize these legal documents.


“Despite this fact, the court attempted to circumvent their right to their homes by pressuring the families to recognize the settlers’ ownership of the land and houses in return for staying in their homes for a long but limited period of time,” the Ministry statement said.


It condemned Israeli court rulings on Sheikh Jarrah, dismissing them as further evidence that the Israeli judicial system is an integral part of the occupation and a tool for serving colonial settlement plans.


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