Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Benny Gantz are seeking to delay a court hearing on the pending eviction of Palestinian families from the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, according to Israeli media reports on Saturday.
The Israeli Supreme Court will consider an appeal on the case on Monday,
Gantz and Netanyahu discussed the possibility of trying to postpone the court hearing to reduce tensions, according to Israeli Kan public broadcaster.
They have asked the attorney general whether such a move is legally viable, it said.
Sheikh Jarrah has been cited as one of the most issues sparked attention and condemnation around the world, as several countries slammed Israeli occupation forces and settlers violence against Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and al-Aqsa Mosque, calling ‘Israel’ to cease evictions and violence, including the US, Egypt, Belgium, Russia, and Turkey.
“It is critical to avoid steps that exacerbate tensions or take us farther away from peace. This includes evictions in East Jerusalem, settlement activity, home demolitions, and acts of terrorism,” The US State Department said in a statement.
The US also urged both Palestinian and Israeli officials “to act decisively to deescalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence. It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif in word and in practice.”
Dozens of Palestinians are facing imminent eviction from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah, in a move to force them out and replace it entirely with an Israeli settlement.
The Israeli Supreme Court ruled at least six families must vacate their homes in Sheikh Jarrah last 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.
The Court decided today to postpone the ruling regarding the eviction of the families till May 10.
The Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah told the Supreme Israeli Court today that no compromise has been reached with Israeli settlers concerning land and house ownership claims by the latter.
Sami Irsheid, the lawyer of Sheikh Jarrah families, said he had submitted to the court a notification that no agreement was made with the settlers concerning their alleged ownership claims, and said the families were waiting for the court’s ruling concerning the matter at any time today or later on.
He said the court will also look into another appeal request from three other families whose eviction is scheduled for July 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.
Within the past days, the settlers and forces used violence by attacking and arresting several Palestinians demonstrating against Israel’s evictions of the families from their homes in the neighborhood.
The Israeli forces also used tear gas and batons to disperse the people who were demonstrating.
The Israeli settlers also attacked the protestors, beat them and sprayed pepper gas at the Palestinians while they were having Iftar.
The settlers also were provoking the Palestinians while they were having the iftar, by attacking their homes and destroying their properties.
The tensions have also increased today after inciting statements were made by the Israeli right-wing MK Itamar Bin Kagir, as he said he’d be with the Israeli police to encourage them to use more force in suppressing the Palestinian demonstrators.
For tow days in a row, the Israeli forces attacked the Palestinian worshipers while they were praying in al-Aqsa mosque.
The Red Crescent said that the injuries among worshipers at Al Aqsa mosque have risen to more than 200 due to the Israeli attack on the holy mouse.
More than 100 injuries were evacuated to hospitals while the rest were treated in the field.
It added that most injuries are in the face and eyes using rubber-coated metal bullets.
The Red Crescent also said that Israeli forces prevented its crews from treating injuries at Bab Al Amoud. They also targeted ambulances with skunk water and stun grenades.