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Minister of Jerusalem Affairs urge to stop Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes

Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Fadi al-Hidmi today called for urgent international intervention to stop the displacement of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods in the occupied Jerusalem.

“The international community is required to intervene immediately and urgently to put pressure on the Israeli government to stop the displacement of Palestinians from their home in the occupied city, in light of the Israeli governmental and judicial institutions’ insistence on flouting international legitimacy decisions,” he said.

Al-Hidmi pointed out that driving Palestinians out of their homes in the city is purely politically motivated, and is aimed at implementing colonial illegal settlement plans.

“What is taking place is a systematic programmed process of replacing the Palestinians expelled from their land and property with foreign settlers,” he added.

Al-Hidmi also pointed out that the Israeli occupation government and settler groups exploit the Israeli judiciary as a tool to pass settlement plans designed to advance the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by expelling them and replacing them with settlers.

Commenting on the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, he noted that residents have been facing unfair lawsuits filed by settler groups since 1974 demanding them to evacuate in favor of settler groups wishing to establish colonial settler units on the rubble of these homes.

The Israeli occupation decisions to demolish and evacuate Palestinians homes in Sheikh Jarrah coincide with the Israeli authorities’ establishment of settlement projects in the heart of Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem to perpetuate a policy of racial discrimination against the Palestinian population.

Israeli Central Court decided on Thursday, March 4, 2021, to reject an appeal submitted by three Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem against the decision of the Israeli Magistrate’s Court issued on September 4. 2020.

Thus, the evacuation decision will enter into force no later than August 2021 against the Hammad, Dawoudi and Dajani families, consisting of seven families and 25 individuals, including eight children.

This decision comes after the Israeli Central Court rejected February 10, 2021, the appeal of four families from the Sheikh neighbourhood against the Magistrate’s Court’s decision issued against them in October 2020.

The families, al-Jauni, al-Qasim, Iskafi and al-Kurd, include seven households of 30 individuals, including ten children.

In November 2020, the Israeli Magistrate’s Court decided to activate the Al-Sabbagh family’s evacuation, consisting of five households and 32 people, including ten children.

Thus, 19 households from eight families, comprising 78 people, of whom 28 are children, remain threatened with forced displacement at any moment.

Moreover, on Thursday, March 11, 2021, the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem unveiled a decision that rejected engineering plans for the Al-Bustan neighbourhood in Silwan.

The court also decided not to extend the freeze on the demolition of the neighbourhood’s homes.

According to Fakhri Abu Diab, a spokesman for the Committee for the Defense of Silwan’s Lands and Real Estate, the Israeli municipality has rejected the engineering plans it had previously requested to present over the past years to stop the demolition of the neighbourhood.

Abu Diab stressed that the municipality disavowed and cancelled previous agreements with engineers, lawyers, and the neighbourhood committee not to demolish the neighbourhood, despite the people’s commitment to provide and develop plans, open streets, and allocate some sites for public infrastructure facilities such as schools and playgrounds.

Under this development, 100 homes, inhabited by 1,550 people, most of them children and women, in the Al Bustan neighbourhood are at risk of displacement.

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