Israel suspends Sheikh Jarrah evictions

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Calm prevails in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood for now. Tensions within the neighborhood between Palestinians and Israeli settlers had sparked violent clashes between the resistance factions in Gaza and the Israeli military that lasted for 11 days in May, along with day by day protests and confrontations in Jerusalem.

In August, Israel’s Supreme Court postponed a listening to in regards to the expulsion of 4 households — Skafi, Jaouni, al-Kurd and Qasim — easing the pressure and restoring some calm within the neighborhood.

This cautious calm, nonetheless, may explode at any second and the households are living in fixed fear of eviction.

On Aug. 2, the Israeli Supreme Court postpone ruling on the 4 households’ enchantment towards the choice to expel them from their houses and determined to carry one other session to proceed listening to the witnesses, however has but to set a date.

During the Aug. 2 listening to, the court docket provided the residents an settlement with the settlement firm claiming possession of the land on which their homes are constructed whereby the households change into protected tenants however the land belongs to the corporate — a proposal that the residents rejected.

On Aug. 15, the Israeli Supreme Court briefly suspended the eviction of three households within the neighborhood: Hamad, Dajani and Daoudi.

Aref Hamad, a Sheikh Jarrah resident who’s threatened with eviction, informed Al-Monitor, “The freezing decision is temporary. But it is important because it means that the court has accepted our appeal.”

The neighborhood’s households dwell in a state of fixed fear and anxiousness, in response to Hamad.

“We believe that the court is just playing for time and is delaying its final decision to calm things on the ground and wait out media and international media attention on the case, but will eventually rule in the settlers’ favor,” he added.

Hamad mentioned the state of affairs is calm now within the neighborhood, however massive cement blocks stay on the neighborhood’s entrance and the Israeli police are nonetheless there across the clock.

“The settlers are not storming in on us anymore and there is much less provocation now,” he mentioned.

Some 38 households have lived in Sheikh Jarrah since 1956, in response to an settlement with the Jordanian authorities and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. In 1972, nonetheless, settlers started requesting that Palestinian households vacate their houses, claiming that they have been constructed on land owned by Jews earlier than 1948.

Adel al-Budairi, is one other Sheikh Jarrah resident dealing with displacement whose in-laws, the Dajani household, submitted the enchantment to the Israeli court docket. He informed Al-Monitor, “Although the court suspended the decision, we continue to live in fear of displacement and eviction at any moment.” He went on, “The families want the court to make a final decision to annul the eviction once and for all.”

“The Israeli government is facing political pressure at home and abroad. This is why the court is procrastinating and waiting for the right time to rule against the residents without international attention,” Budairi mentioned.

The Sheikh Jarrah residents rallied worldwide consideration to their trigger and appealed the United States, Europe and regional nations to strain Israel to cease their eviction.

Israel’s Haaretz reported Aug. four that the Israeli authorities had referred to as on the US administration to strain the Sheikh Jarrah households to conform to the supply put forth by the Supreme Court on Aug. 2.

“We haven’t been subjected to any political pressure from any party, neither European nor American. We believe that Israel is the one who is under pressure now,” Budairi mentioned, explaining that the households mentioned the court docket’s supply and determined to reject it.

Yaaqoub Arafa,  a member of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood committee, informed Al-Monitor, “The residents are fighting the entire Israeli system — the Supreme Court, the police, the municipality, settlers and the government — all of whom have one goal: the Judaization of Jerusalem.”

“The Sheikh Jarrah case embarrassed and exposed Israel to the world. The neighborhood’s name circulated in foreign governments and human rights associations, resulting in tremendous international pressure on Israel to stop the evictions,” he mentioned.

The settlement associations, nonetheless, proceed to assert possession of the land with out proof.

“The Israeli Supreme Court’s judges are in a dilemma right now. They can’t tell the settlers that the land does not belong to them and seem unable to evict the Palestinian residents. The case will be shelved until they find the right time to pick things up. They will pick things up in two or five years, when the case is no longer the focus of international attention,” Arafa mentioned, including that the households very conscious of the state of affairs they face.


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