A Palestinian family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem was forced to evacuate from its home in a large IOF operation on Monday the first such eviction since 2009 involving the restoration of land to the Jewish family that owned it before Israel’s establishment.
The Israeli police forcefully evicted early Tuesday a Palestinian family from its home for decades in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and allowed fanatic Jewish settlers to move right in
In carrying out the eviction of the eight members of the Shamasneh family, including elderly parents in their 80s, police sealed off the streets to the neighborhood and removed the family by force, eyewitnesses said. The family had lived on the land since 1964.
Several dozen Palestinians and left-wing activists had gathered since the morning outside the Shamasneh family home. They were in the early afternoon by members of the family who had been evicted.
The Israeli police detained three of the activists, claiming that they interfered with occupations officers.
The Israel Land Fund – a right-wing nonprofit – contacted the heir of the original owners of the site where the Shamasnehs were living and represented her in legal proceedings to reclaim it.
In 2013, the Shamasneh family lost their appeal of the case in the Supreme Court, after lower courts ruled that the land should be restored to its Jewish owner.
The Israeli court had earlier ruled that the Shamasnehs should leave their home and turn it over to the settlers following a law suit claiming that the home belongs to Jews.
The family contested the court ruling on the ground that they were protected tenants, but without success.
The family and supporters have been holding vigils in and around the house for the last two weeks in anticipation of its forceful eviction.
Jewish settler groups are also demanding the eviction of 45 other Palestinian families from the same neighborhood on similar grounds.
While Israeli courts are allowing Jewish families to retake their property in East Jerusalem they had abandoned in the 1948 war, hundreds of Palestinian families who own homes in West Jerusalem and inside Israel and which have been occupied by Jewish families since the 1948 war were not granted similar rights.
Last month, diplomats from seven European countries – France, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and Malta – visited the Shamasnehs in their home to show solidarity.
Joint List lawmaker Dov Khenin commented: “We must stop the evictions in Sheikh Jarrah. The injustice cries out to the heavens, not only because there are elderly and children among the family members evicted to the street, but also because of the discrimination that cries out to the heavens between Jews, who can sue and return to the properties they owned before 1948, and Arabs, who have no such right. Palestinian families can be evicted from their homes, even though the Shamasneh family has lived in the house for more than 50 years.”