Occupied East Jerusalem – The Jerusalem District Court this week postponed the decision on appeals against seven Palestinian families (including 44 people) who are facing deportation from their homes in the Batan al-Hawa area of Silwan.
However, the Palestinians stated that they believe the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem, including deportations, will continue-it is only a matter of time.
The court’s postponement of the hearing on Wednesday came after the district court’s earlier ruling that part of 19 families from Batan al-Hawa were expelled from their homes in order to claim that they lived there before the State of Israel in 1948. Israeli settlers made way for the establishment.
“The court will postpone the ruling because the situation in East Jerusalem is very tense now, because Palestinian families are also Facing deportation in Sheikh Jala And the attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Fahri Abu Diab, chairman of the Silwan Land and Real Estate Security Committee and researcher on Jerusalem affairs, told Al Jazeera.
“Since US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken is currently in the area, this is not a good time to make Palestinians homeless,” Abu Diab said.
“However, in the future, the Israeli courts will eventually stand on the side of the settlers, and the deportation will continue.”
‘No longer afraid’
In recent weeks, clashes have erupted in Shekih Jarrah as Palestinians protested the expulsion of several families from their homes and clashed with Israeli security forces, resulting in many injuries and arrests.
Walid Husseini, the nephew of the late Faisal Husseini, who was the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) liaison representative for the peace negotiations at the Madrid Conference in 1991, told Al Jazeera this time When the deportation begins again, the Palestinians will not give up.
“The situation on the ground is similar to the situation during the first uprising, because more and more Palestinians are becoming politicized and are no longer afraid,” said Husseini, a former journalist involved in the first Palestinian uprising.
“They have given up the incompetent Palestinian Authority, just as they have given up on the corrupt Palestinian leader of the PLO.
“They realize that they have to solve the problem by themselves, because the international community will not pressure Israel.”
Palestinians’ concerns about the Judaization of East Jerusalem seem to be supported by local facts and Israel’s assertion that Jerusalem will always remain united and will always be the capital of Israel.
For many years, Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem has been an ongoing process, and then as international criticism increased and pressure on Israel increased, there was a period of silence and delay.
The Israeli organization Peace Now stated that the planned deportation is part of a broader plan coordinated by the Israeli settler movement and the Israeli authorities to deport approximately 100 families from Badanhawa based on pre- 1948 ownership requirements.
Some settlers who lived in the area before 1948 received financial compensation from the Israeli government.
However, under Israeli law, Palestinians displaced from West Jerusalem and other areas within Israel’s internationally recognized Green Line are not eligible for compensation, nor do they have the legal right to reclaim their land.
‘Stop all settlement’
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that the pending evictions are part of Israeli legislation, including specific laws that promote the takeover of property to establish Israeli settlements.
A follow-up investigation by OCHA in 2020 revealed that at least 218 Palestinian families in East Jerusalem have filed deportation cases against them, most of which were initiated by settler organizations, leaving 970 people (including 424 children) facing displacement risks of.
“Most of the new cases were found in the Batan al-Hawa area of Silwan, which is still the community with the highest number of people at risk of displacement due to the ongoing evictions.” Say OCHA.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, stated in a recent report that the Israeli authorities “must immediately and completely stop all settlement activities in the area”. [occupied Palestinian territories] Including East Jerusalem”, reviewing the application of certain Israeli laws, “These laws have been used as the basis for expelling Palestinians from their properties in East Jerusalem”, and “stop demolition and forced expulsion.”
The Judaization of East Jerusalem transcends the deportation that has already taken place and is planned.
According to the United Nations, it is difficult for Palestinians to obtain building permits and can only build in 15% of occupied East Jerusalem, even though they account for 40% of its population, while 30% of East Jerusalem is allocated for the construction of illegal Israeli settlements point.
The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem stated that the bureaucracy of the Jerusalem city government has consistently refused to draw up detailed urban building plans for Palestinian communities—a prerequisite for obtaining building permits, thereby restricting Palestinian construction.
The declaration of part of the East Jerusalem National Park further restricts the access of Palestinians. So far, four national parks have been declared in the occupied area of the city.
Revoke the right of abode
B’Tselem said that Israel’s policy in East Jerusalem is designed to force Palestinians to leave, thereby shaping a geographical and demographic reality that will thwart any future attempts to challenge Israel’s sovereignty there.
The organization stated: “Due to this policy or other reasons, Palestinians who do leave East Jerusalem may lose their permanent residency and subsequent social benefits.”
“Since 1967, under these circumstances, Israel has revoked the permanent residency of approximately 14,500 Palestinians from East Jerusalem.”
OCHA stated that Israeli measures increasingly separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. East Jerusalem was once the center of Palestinian political, commercial, religious and cultural life in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Muhammad, a teacher from Silwan who did not want to disclose his full name, told Al Jazeera that Israelis had made the lives of Palestinians in Occupied East Jerusalem changed through mass arrests, indiscriminate night attacks, and checkpoints around the city. Extremely difficult.
“I am scared for my family and do not allow my children, especially my son, to walk long distances, so I insist on driving them around by car,” he said.
“The rest of the time I make sure they stay at home. To be honest, I am very worried about my child’s future.”