Israel court evicts six Jerusalem families to make way for settlers

An Israeli policeman stands outside the former house of a Palestinian family as some of their members look from a gate (Ahmad Gharably - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 17, 2021

A court in Jerusalem on Monday ordered six Palestinian families to vacate the homes they have lived in for nearly 70 years to make way for Jewish settlers.

Israeli NGO Peace Now said in a statement yesterday that the Jerusalemite families, comprised of 27 people living in four houses, were notified of the decision on Monday, and were given until 2 May to vacate their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

The organisation described the court decision as part of an organised move designed to dispossess the Palestinian community and establish a Jewish neighbourhood in Sheikh Jarrah. Hundreds of Palestinians living in Sheikh Jarrah face court proceedings, along with hundreds more in the neighbourhood of Batan al-Hawa in the East Jerusalem district of Silwan.

The Jerusalem magistrate court last week issued a ruling ordering the expulsion of four Jerusalemite families from their home in Batan al-Hawa.

In total, 36 Palestinian families have been evicted from their homes since the start of 2020, making 165 people homeless. “The story here is not legal but political,” Peace Now explained. “The court is only the tool by which settlers use with the close assistance of state authorities to commit the crime of displacing an entire community and replacing it with a settlement.”