Sheikh Jarrah: Palestinian household faces pressured displacement

Sheikh Jarrah, Occupied East Jerusalem – Living in fear and apprehension, the Salem household awaits imminent pressured displacement from the home they’ve lived in since 1951 – presently home to 3 generations.

After Israeli settler NGOs lodged a declare to the property, an Israeli courtroom dominated final yr that the household of 11, together with 4 youngsters, within the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, occupied East Jerusalem, needed to be forcibly expelled by December 29, 2021.

The pressured expulsion was quickly halted by an Israeli courtroom on December 23 after a police request following protests and confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces.

But it’s now set to happen at an unspecified date this month, with the household unable to make additional appeals.

The eviction discover was delivered to the matriarch of the household, 74-year-old Fatima Salem, by a right-wing Israeli activist and Jerusalem metropolis council member Yonatan Yosef on December 9.

He, together with deputy Jerusalem mayor, Arieh King, claimed to have purchased the home from its Jewish house owners who had possession of the property earlier than 1948.

The Salem household turned refugees in 1948, when some 700,000 Palestinians had been forcefully expelled from their properties and land when Israel was based.

In 1951, the household leased the home beneath a protected tenancy settlement from the Jordanian Custodian of Enemy Property, which had been established to deal with property taken from Jews in areas managed by Jordan after the 1948 Arab–Israeli warfare. Israel later seized management of East Jerusalem through the 1967 warfare.

“My parents have lived here since 1951. I was born here, I got married here and I gave birth to all my children here. My three sons, their wives and children all live here now,” Fatima advised Al Jazeera.

“We haven’t any different place to go and we are able to’t afford to hire a brand new place. We may find yourself on the street within the chilly and wet winter climate.

“The stress is unbearable. We all struggle to sleep at night and this makes my health problems worse.”

The Palestinian residents have additionally questioned the authenticity of paperwork the settlers offered to show possession of the Salem household home.

Fatima Salem Sheikh JarrahFatima Salem, 74, was born within the home the settlers try to take over [Al Jazeera]

Meanwhile, whereas Israel applies legal guidelines that permit Jewish settlers to take over land and property in East Jerusalem they declare to have lived on earlier than the 1948 warfare, the identical legal guidelines don’t apply to Palestinians who suffered pressured expulsion from their properties to determine the state of Israel.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), at the least 970 Palestinians, together with 424 youngsters, are susceptible to pressured expulsion in East Jerusalem attributable to circumstances introduced earlier than Israeli courts, primarily by Jewish settler teams, with assist from the Israeli authorities.

Forcible displacement and settlements are violations of worldwide regulation.

Hemmed in 

Media curiosity within the Salem household case was heightened by 22 European diplomats who visited the Salem household home website and have been following a spike in evictions and demolitions of Palestinian properties final yr.

In 2021, at the least 317 Palestinians had been forcibly displaced from their properties in East Jerusalem, in keeping with OCHA (PDF), whereas 161 buildings had been demolished beneath the pretext of missing a constructing allow which the Israeli authorities make tough to acquire.

The head of the EU’s mission to the occupied Palestinian territories, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, stated he was shocked by the Salem household’s pending eviction, and urged Israel to halt it.

“Eleven people living in the Salem family’s house are being threatened with eviction in the next few days, during Christmas and in the middle of the winter,” von Burgsdorff had advised media on the website when he visited on December 23.

“For me, as a Christian, that is laborious to conceive. This is occupied territory. People have a full proper to stay right here. They had been evacuated in 1948 from West Jerusalem and located shelter right here. And after 70 years the authorities need to evict them once more and switch them into refugees as soon as extra.

“This is inhuman and unfair.”

Ibrahim Salem, Fatima’s son, stated the settlers are making their lives depressing, particularly on the weekends when they’re virtually living beneath siege, hemmed in by Israeli settlers on each side.

The neighbourhood can also be blocked off by Israeli forces to stop supporters and pals from becoming a member of the household in solidarity, he added.

“Groups of settlers move in under the protection of police and hurl abuse and stones at the family and our home, demanding we leave and telling us the house and land belong to them,” Ibrahim advised Al Jazeera.

“The police just watch and do nothing. But if any Palestinians respond either verbally or with stones, they are beaten up and arrested.”

Settler cars Sheikh JarrahSeveral vehicles belonging to Israeli settlers within the neighbourhood had been torched by Palestinians [Al Jazeera]

Last Friday, Ibrahim and Fatima had been assaulted by settlers and the police, with Fatima taken away to a hospital in an ambulance.

Israeli forces shot tear gasoline canisters, sound grenades and bodily assaulted residents, activists and journalists, in keeping with OCHA.

At least one journalist and one Israeli border policeman had been injured within the scuffle.

‘Expecting more violence’

Last yr, the pending evictions of different Palestinian households in Sheikh Jarrah sparked a navy confrontation between Palestinian armed teams within the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli military, unleashing an 11-day warfare.

On November 2, 4 Palestinian households going through pressured displacement in Sheikh Jarrah unanimously rejected an Israeli courtroom’s proposal, which required them to simply accept settler possession of the land in East Jerusalem upon which their properties sit.

The case of Sheikh Jarrah, in keeping with a UN particular rapporteur report, “has become emblematic of the threats of forced displacement facing many Palestinian families in East Jerusalem with the aim of establishing a Jewish majority in the city and creating irreversible demographic facts on the ground”.

Ibrahim Salem Sheikh JarrahIbrahim Salem and his daughter Fatima [Al Jazeera]

Meanwhile, the Salem household fears for its future.

Ibrahim’s spouse, Sabreen, stated she is fearful about surviving the winter circumstances if her household are made homeless and compelled to sleep exterior. She stated her eight-year-old daughter Fatima experiences nightmares given the uncertainty round their future.

“Every time she hears the confrontations outside, or the settlers shouting, she gets very afraid and starts shaking,” Sabreen advised Al Jazeera.

“We are expecting more violence this Friday when the settlers come into our neighbourhood again.”

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