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Israel Court Freezes Eviction Order of Salem Family in Sheikh Jarrah

Israel Court Freezes Eviction Order of Salem Family in Sheikh Jarrah

Wednesday, 23 February, 2022 - 07:15
Fatima Salem (C) looks on as Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff, head of the European Union's mission to the West Bank and Gaza Strip (R), speaks to the media during his visit to her home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, December 20, 2021 AHMAD GHARABLI AFP/File

An Israeli court on Tuesday froze the planned eviction of a Palestinian family in the flashpoint east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, pending an appeal.

The Salem family had been ordered to surrender the property to Jewish settlers who have claimed ownership of the plot.

Lawyer Majd Ghanayem, who filed the appeal in the family's name, said the eviction procedures would be suspended temporarily.

He explained that the family was forced to deposit a financial guarantee of about $8,000 in the court's fund, which will be fined if the appeal fails.

The court's decision states that Salem's family will be allowed to keep the property for another few months.

Last month, Israel's Enforcement and Collection Authority ordered the Salem family to evict their home in the neighborhood.

In November, the Palestinian family received their eviction order with a deadline to vacate by March 1.

Tensions have been mounting this month in Sheikh Jarrah. Settlers, police officers, border guards, and special forces increased their attacks against the residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, including Salem's family.

The attacks resulted in property damage, multiple injuries, and arrests of Israeli and foreign activists.

Israeli officials admitted that this escalation aimed to deter the Palestinians from escalating their activities in Jerusalem and the West Bank, especially ahead of the upcoming Ramadan month.

The family of Fatima Salem has lived in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood for about 73 years and owns a house and a land lot next to it.

For several years, the family has suffered from the settlers' continuous attacks.

The family has a statement from the Jordanian authorities, which have been responsible for Jerusalem since 1948. But, in 1988, a court issued an eviction order, which it later froze.

In 2012, settlers re-opened the case to implement the court's decision under the Statute of Civil Limitation, which allows for the execution of the sentence up to 25 years from the date of its issuance. Three years later, the eviction was renewed again, which affected Fatima's husband who suffered a stroke, stayed in the hospital for six months, and died.

In the 2015 eviction order, the occupation authorities gave the Salem's until December 29, 2021, to vacate the house, but the date was postponed indefinitely after the family's attorney submitted a lawsuit to Israel's Enforcement and Collection Authority.

In the past years, Israeli groups intensified their attempts to seize as many homes as possible in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and several settlers succeeded in taking Palestinians' properties.

Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood has gained international fame since the end of 2021, with global activists calling Israeli authorities to stop the displacement of Palestinian families from the homes they have resided in for decades.

US President Joe Biden's administration asked the Israeli government on February 16 to take steps to avoid further escalation in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, Israeli and US officials told Axios website.

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