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Israeli court orders removal of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah

The three families have lived in their East Jerusalem homes for 56 years and have been fighting eviction attempts since 2009
A demonstration by left-wing Israeli peace activists and Palestinians against the eviction of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah, occupied East Jerusalem, 10 March 2023 (AFP)

An Israeli court has ordered the forced removal of three Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, the Palestinian neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, Wafa news agency has reported.

The authorities gave the families, consisting of 20 people, until mid-July to evacuate their homes.

According to one of the home owners, Saleh Diab, the Jerusalem Magistrate court had a hearing regarding the case in May 2023, where the judge heard that the Israeli Supreme Court decided to freeze evictions of 28 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah.

Diab told Wafa that the judge reopened the case under pressure from The Nahalat Shimon settler group. The group have been active in pursuing eviction orders issued by Israeli courts against Palestinian families. 

According to Diab, the three families have lived in the houses for 56 years and have been battling eviction orders since 2009.

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Since Israel seized East Jerusalem in the 1967 war, Israeli settler organisations have claimed ownership of the land in Sheikh Jarrah and have filed multiple successful lawsuits to evict Palestinians from the neighbourhood. Settlers say that Jewish families lived in the area before 1917, and that the properties belong to them.

Over 500 Palestinians living in 28 houses in Sheikh Jarrah are facing court order evictions.

The neighbourhood became a significant flashpoint after Israeli tried to expel Palestinian families from the area in May 2021 to make way for Israeli settlers.

The violence led to widespread protests in the occupied West Bank and a large-scale military campaign on Gaza.

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