Israel gives Sheikh Jarrah family deadline to vacate their homes

Israeli forces patrol in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem (Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  December 21, 2021

Israeli occupation authorities yesterday handed a Palestinian family an evict order telling them to vacate their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, Wafa reported. and to seize a piece of land owned by the family.

Mahmoud Salhia was handed the order for the second time in four months, with the occupation authorities saying the seizure of his land was in the “public interest” to establish a school there.

The municipality gave the family until 25 January to implement the decision.

Salhia told the news site that his father bought the six dunum piece of land in 1967, adding that two years ago a decision was issued to seize the land.

The two houses are inhabited by two families consisting of 12 members, including nine children.

“We came here after we were expelled by Israel in 1948 from the town of Ein Karem,” said Salhia.

Salhia pointed out that the occupation municipality offered him an extension for eight months to convince him to sign a paper according to which he would become a tenant of the house, but he refused.

He noted that the battle to keep his home has cost him about 600,000 shekels (around $190,000) in fines, the cost of filing cases and appointing lawyers.

“I was displaced once and will not be displaced again, and I will not sign any paper presented by the occupation…I will not leave my house, where I have lived since 1988,” he stressed.

More than 500 Palestinians living in 28 houses in the neighbourhood are facing threats of forced expulsion at the hands of settlement associations backed by the Israeli government and its judiciary system, which recently issued a decision to displace seven families.