Palestinians evicted from Jewish-owned home in eastern Jerusalem

Palestinians evicted from Jewish-owned home in eastern Jerusalem”

Palestinians and left-wing activists outside the home of Palestinian Shamasneh family after they were evicted from their home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, September 5, 2017. "They took us out and threw us outside". "Maybe we will sleep in the street".

The property was owned by Jews until 1948 when after that year's War of Independence, known to the Palestinians as the "Nakba" or "catastrophe", the area came under Jordanian control and the Jewish family was forced to leave the area, leading to the renting of the property to a Palestinian family.

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said it would seek to support the family financially to find another home.

The Israel Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Jewish owners of the house in 2013; they subsequently sold the house to unidentified buyers.

Under Israeli law, Jews can reclaim property lost when Jordan occupied East Jerusalem in the war of 1948-9. Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

For now, there are six Jewish homes in Sheikh Jarrah (including Shamasneh's house), and it was reported that there are dozens of other homes that are under the threat of eviction - mainly in the sub-neighborhood of Umm Haroun, where the Shamasneh house it located.

Left-wing demonstrators and Arabs attacked police with stones as they carried out the court order in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

The anti-Israel Israeli nongovernmental organization (NGO) Peace Now said that such evictions jeopardized the creation of a Palestinian state inside Israel with Jerusalem as its capital. "The settlers, with the backing of the government, are utilizing a discriminatory law in order to change the status quo and Israelize Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem".

Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state. "The expansion of settlements is not helpful to that end".

The courts ruled that the Shamasne family has lived in the house since 1972, however the family claims it has been resident since 1964 (albeit without a lease for part of the period) and that therefore they can not be evicted under law. The family - made up of eight people, including young children and two elderly parents - have lived in Sheikh Jarrah since 1964. The fight over property in Jerusalem dates back to thousands of years. "It is happening slowly, slowly", he said.

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