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UK Consul General: ‘East Jerusalem is occupied, illegally annexed’

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- The British Consul-General Philip Hall has condemned Israel’s evictions and demolitions in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the occupied Jerusalem, saying this breaches “Israel’s obligations as an occupying power.”

In a visit to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on Sunday, the British Consul-General expressed his country’s concern about the evictions of Palestinian families from their houses.

“About 19 households, some 87 people are threatened with evictions. Many of them lost their homes in Israel in 1948, and they moved here to homes which were built for them by UNRWA,” Hall said.

He added, “And now they are threatened of evictions from these homes under a law which applies only in East Jerusalem, so they are unable to claim the homes which they owned before 1948.”

Hall also said the families are also about to lose their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood which were provided to them by UNRWA in 1948.

“So, here in Sheikh Jarrah, its evictions are the biggest problem. Elsewhere in Jerusalem, to the south of the ol city and Silwan or towards Bethlehem and al-Walaja, the big problem is demolitions,” Hall said.

He continued, “It is not that there is a lack of land, the problem is that it is no allocated for Palestinians.”

Hall said, “The UK’s position is clear. East Jerusalem is occupied, and it’s illegally annexed.”

“The restitution and planning rules here and their implementation are unfair, and they breach Israel’s obligations as an occupying power,” he added.

Dozens of Palestinians are facing imminent eviction from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the occupied Jerusalem, in a move to force them out and replace it entirely with an Israeli settlement.

The Jerusalem District Court ruled at least six families must vacate their homes in Sheikh Jarrah on Sunday, despite living there for generations, to make way for a new Israeli settlement known as Shimon HaTsadiq.

However, the Court on Sunday gave the Palestinian families until Thursday to reach a deal with Israeli settlers regarding the ownership of their homes.

The deal proposed by the court requires the Palestinian families to pay the Israeli settlers to rent their homes until the current owners pass away and then assign the properties to the settlers, not to their heirs.

The families refused this proposal, considering it a recognition of the claimed demands of the settlers.

In February, the Court also rejected an appeal by four Palestinian families living in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood against their eviction from their homes. The court upheld the eviction order, and it gave the four families until May 2 to implement the eviction decision.

The same court ruled seven other families should leave their homes by August 1.

A plan for the settlement, consisting of 200 housing units on 18 dunums, has already been submitted to the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem.

In total, 58 people, including 17 children, are set to be forcibly displaced to make way for Israeli settlers.

In 1972, several Israeli settler organisations filed a lawsuit against the Palestinian families living in Sheikh Jarrah, alleging the land originally belonged to Jews.

These groups, mostly funded by donors from the United States, have waged a relentless battle that resulted in the displacement of 43 Palestinians in 2002, as well as the Hanoun and Ghawi families in 2008 and the Shamasneh family in 2017.

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