The EU’s shameless complicity in Israel’s crimes

ولیعهد ابوظبی گرفتار کابوس خودساخته - میدل ایست نیوز

David Hearst

14 July 2021 14:43 UTC

Israel works actively, day and night, to quash all forms of resistance and bury the dream of a Palestinian state

A Palestinian woman outside the house of Montaser Shalabi after it was demolished by Israeli forces in the village of Turmus’ayya near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, 8 July 2021 (AFP)


Two months after Palestinians rose to defend al-Aqsa Mosque and contest the evictions in occupied East Jerusalem, the conflict barely registers on the world stage. Media coverage is sporadic and selective. It’s all quiet on the Western Front.

No one in the EU council reminded Lapid of what Israel is doing actively to tear down Palestinian homes and bury a Palestinian state

Israel’s new foreign minister, Yair Lapid, has once more become the acceptable face of Israeli rejectionism. Delivering the same message as his predecessors, Lapid was given a quiet ride at the Foreign Affairs Council, the EU’s chief foreign policy body, in Brussels this week.

He felt comfortable telling the EU that there was no possibility of a Palestinian state. So at ease was he that he wagged his finger at his European audience. “There is one thing we need to remember. If there will be a Palestinian state, it needs to be a peace-seeking democracy… You cannot ask us to build with our own hands another threat to our lives,” said Lapid.

No one in the council challenged him. No one reminded Lapid of what Israel is doing actively, day and night, to tear down Palestinian homes – with their own hands – and bury a Palestinian state. 

The following is a brief (and almost certainly incomplete) list of what happens in Palestine when nothing happens.

When nothing happens

Mohammed Said Hamayel, aged 15, was shot. When the villagers tried to evacuate the wounded boy, they were shot. By the time they reached his body, he was dead, according to eyewitnesses.

A second boy from the same clan, Mohammed Nayaf Hamayel, was shot and wounded. These were not clean wounds. The internal damage the boy received was immense: his spleen was seriously damaged because of the bullets the Israelis use, which fragment and turn inside the body. A total of four Palestinians from Beita were killed in demonstrations. 

On 29 June, a butchery in al-Bustan, Silwan, was demolished, the first of 20 units that received demolition orders on 7 June. Israeli police fired rubber-coated bullets to disperse a crowd aiming to protect their homes.

On 3 July, Mohammed Hasan, aged 21, was finishing work on his house in Qusra when it was attacked by dozens of armed settlers. They were attempting to break into the house. A group of soldiers arrived to surround the house while the settler attack continued. Hasan locked the doors and went to the rooftop, where he threw stones to fend off the attack. He was shot dead by the soldiers. Palestinian medics and ambulances were unable to reach his body.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (L) talks with Crotian Foreign Minister Gordan Grilc Radman (C) and European High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell (R) (AFP)
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (L) talks with Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman (C) and European High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell (R) in Brussels, 12 July 2021 (AFP)

On 7 July, the Israeli Civil Administration returned to the Palestinian herding community of Humsa in the Jordan Valley, accompanied by the military. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, they demolished 27 residential and animal structures and water tanks. They took all the food and milk for the children, including their nappies and toys. Eleven households, comprising dozens of people, were left in the desert. Temperatures ranged from 37 to 42 degrees Celsius during the eviction period.

More arrests

While this was happening, the Knesset was debating the Citizenship and Entry Law, which bars almost 45,000 Palestinian families inside Israel and occupied East Jerusalem from uniting with their spouses and children.

Without Israeli documents, these people have no health insurance or Covid-19 jabs, and cannot travel. The law failed to be renewed but according to Israeli press reports, every application submitted by Palestinian families will be faced by the automatic rejection of Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked.

On 8 July, Ghandanfar Abu Atwan, aged 28, was released from 10 months of administrative detention, after 65 days on hunger strike. He was transferred to a hospital in the occupied West Bank, where doctors described him as clinging to life. Abu Atwan was arrested 10 months ago and has been held without charge. The Israeli government has no obligation to present any evidence to justify an arrest or detention. He is one of 520 Palestinians held in military jails without charge or trial.

On the same day, Israeli forces demolished the family home of Montaser Shalabi, a Palestinian American accused of involvement in a shooting that killed an Israeli student and wounded two others last May. The two-storey villa in Turmus Ayya was levelled in a controlled explosion.

Meanwhile, in the city of Akka in Israel, more than 200 Palestinians were arrested or detained, in the wake of the demonstrations in May. The mother of one of the detainees told Middle East Eye: “More than 30 militarised police forces raided our house at the break of dawn. They arrested my 16-year-old son, cuffed him and covered his eyes with black tape, and dragged him to a police car. They did the same to more than 20 youngsters.”

Palestinian demonstrators chant during a rally in Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank on July 11, 2021
Palestinian demonstrators chant during a rally in Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank on 11 July 2021 (AFP)

All of the above only elicited one statement of condemnation. It came from the US embassy in Jerusalem over the punitive demolition of a Palestinian American home. It called on all parties to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions, which includes “the punitive demolition of Palestinian homes”.

EU-Israel common values

Now, please tell me how Lapid was allowed to tell the EU this week that Israel and the EU share common values. Lapid listed those common values as “human rights, rights for the LGBT community, a commitment to the basic components of democracy – a free press, independent judiciary, a strong civil society and freedom of religion”, along with “fighting together against climate change, international terrorism, racism and extremism”.

What common values does Israel share with the EU? Settler lynch mobs protected by armed soldiers? Illegal demolitions of houses and villages? Shoot-to-kill policies targeting children? 

But what Lapid omitted to mention, and what his hosts did not remind him of, was Israel’s other values: lynch-mob justice, forcible transfer, collective punishment, illegal demolitions of houses and villages, shooting to kill, maiming children and detention without trial.

Nor did Lapid mention that in July, the Supreme Court ruled that Israel’s nation-state law was constitutional and did not negate the state’s democratic character. This basic law states that the right to exercise national self-determination in the state of Israel is unique to the Jewish people. It openly discriminates against Israel’s Christian and Muslim citizens.

His was not a low-level visit. Lapid met with Josep Borrell, the high commissioner for foreign affairs, on Sunday, followed by the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Holland and the Czech Republic and the Nato secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg. 

What common values does Israel share with the EU? Settler lynch mobs protected by armed soldiers? Illegal demolitions of houses and villages? Shoot-to-kill policies targeting children? The use of bullets that fragment inside the body? The prevention of medics attending the wounded? The passing of racist laws? Israeli citizens are not prevented from uniting with their English, French or German spouses – but they are if they happen to be Palestinian.

Is this what the EU or Nato call common values? None of what the various arms of the Israeli state, their settlers, their soldiers, their police, their administrators or their courts have done to Palestinians in the last weeks is new. 

However, it’s not business as usual.

Dialogue with bullets

The West Bank is in a ferment with weekly demonstrations, as much against the increasingly authoritarian Palestinian Authority (PA) as against the Israeli occupiers themselves. The PA has only further repression as an answer to the basic democratic demand for elections, which the ageing and out-of-touch president, Mahmoud Abbas, will surely lose. Israel-Palestine: Offering ‘concern’ solves nothing. It’s time for a new approachRead More »

The latest warning was given by Mahmoud Aloul, deputy chairman of Fatah and deputy to Abbas. He said: “Do not provoke Fatah because if you do, Fatah will not be merciful to anyone.” This authority has not held an election for 14 years. Is the failure to hold elections for 14 years part of the EU’s values ? The PA is funded by the EU.

The EU continues to look the other way. Those who look the other way are as responsible for these egregious crimes of occupation as those who carry them out. 

I would really like to know how Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, Sigrid Kaag, the Dutch foreign minister or Jakub Kulhanek, the Czech foreign minister, justify shaking hands with Lapid. An EU statement said: “They discussed the importance of enhancing EU-Israel relations and considered how to address existing challenges in order to achieve this common goal.”

They also spoke about “how the dialogue with Palestinians can be moved forward”.

With eviction orders, bulldozers and rubber-tipped bullets?

David HearstDavid Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He is a commentator and speaker on the region and analyst on Saudi Arabia. He was The Guardian’s foreign leader writer, and was correspondent in Russia, Europe, and Belfast. He joined the Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

‘Israeli’ Occupation Starts Demolishing Occupied Al-Quds’ Silwan Neighborhood

29/06/2021

‘Israeli’ Occupation Starts Demolishing Occupied Al-Quds’ Silwan Neighborhood

By Staff, Agencies

Confrontations with the Zionist military erupted after the demolition of a Palestinian business by Zionist occupation forces began in the al-Bustan area of the occupied East al-Quds neighborhood of Silwan on Tuesday.

The Zionist occupation forces accompanied by bulldozers entered the Palestinian neighborhood and destroyed a butcher’s shop in Silwan. Soldiers used tear gas and batons to push back residents and Palestinian activists as they carried out the demolition.

At least four Palestinians were injured in the confrontations, according to the Palestine Red Crescent.

The Zionist forces also fired rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse angry Palestinians amid calls through mosque loudspeakers for residents to gather to protect their homes, witnesses said.

On June 7, the occupied al-Quds municipality issued a series of demolition orders to residents of the al-Bustan area in Silwan.

The 13 families affected, consisting of some 130 people, were given 21 days to evacuate and demolish their houses themselves. Failure to do so would mean the occupation regime’s municipality would destroy the houses and families would have to cover the demolition costs – an estimated $6,000.

Since 2005, residents of al-Bustan have received warnings to demolish nearly 90 homes under the pretext of building without a permit, in favor of a Zionist settler organization that seeks to turn the land into a national park and link it to the archaeological so-called ‘City of David’ area.

Silwan is located to the south of al-Quds’ Old City, adjacent to its walls.

At least 33,000 Palestinians live in the neighborhood, which has been targeted by ‘Israeli’ settler organizations for years. In some cases, Palestinian landowners have been forced to share homes with Zionist settlers.

Some of these Palestinian families have been living in Silwan for more than 50 years since they were displaced from the Old City in the 1960s.

Zionist Ethnic Cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood and the Silwan Village

19/06/2021

See the source image
By Dr. Zuhair Sabbagh | June 19, 2021

In order to understand the issue of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Zionist entity and its tools in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in colonized Jerusalem, we must not address it in the Zionist colonial settler context because it lacks scientific credibility. In order to solve this problem, we have to ask and answer the following questions: Who is the real side that legally owns the properties of the “Jewish Quarter” in colonized Jerusalem? Who legally owns the real estate of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the Silwan village? What follows is a serious attempt to answer these two questions.

Who is the Legal Owner of the Real Estate of the “Jewish Quarter”?

As a result of capitalist contradictions and class conflicts that led to the birth and development of nationalist movements in Europe, European Jewish communities suffered arbitrary persecutions, which included a number of massacres against them. These campaigns of arbitrary persecution have prompted large numbers of European Jews to emigrate from Eastern Europe, particularly Tsarist Russia, to Western Europe. Some of these Jews emigrated also to the Ottoman Empire, particularly to the rising city of Jerusalem.

When the persecution of Jews intensified in a number of European countries in 1880, 

Youssef ibn Rahamim Miyohas arrived in Jerusalem seeking help. Abed Rabbo son of Khalil son of Ibrahim, a resident of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, rented him a plot of land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood for 90 years. Due to the fact that the land was an Islamic trust land, this lease allows Jews to rent land and prohibits the sale of land to them under Ottoman regulations and laws. 1

In his research article entitled “Guests, then Renters, then Settlers”, Abed Al-Raoof Arnaoot, a Palestinian researcher, reported that after Miyohas signed the rent agreement, he brought 62 Jews to the location and divided the rented land into 62 pieces, which enabled each of them to build a small house of tens to hundreds of meters in area. They then lived in these houses. 2

The land was then registered in the name of Abed Rabbo, the person in charge of this Islamic trust. This is proven in the Turkish property ownership documents which are still owned by both the Abed Rabbo family and the Hijazi family. 3

In addition, the credible historical references indicate that “the year 1880 and its aftermath witnessed a remarkable influx of thousands of Jews from Europe to Jerusalem after facing persecutions. The then Ottomanic laws allowed the rental of these lands by Jews, but not their sale. According to Ottoman laws, Islamic trust lands are legally permitted for lease but are not legally allowed to be sold. 4

According to a reputable and highly credible scientific reference, 85 percent of the real estate in the ‘Jewish Quarter’ was owned by Muslim Arabsin the Ottoman period. This real estate belonged to the Islamic trusts. As is well known, Islamic trusts are prohibited from selling their real estate and are only allowed to rent it.

In 1968, the Zionist state expropriated for public usage 12 percent of the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, which included the “Jewish Quarter”. The equivalent of 80 percent of the expropriated area was not Jewish property.6 These expropriated properties were put up for sale only to the Israeli and Jewish publics.

Thus, the credible historical references undoubtedly prove that the territory of the so-called “Jewish Quarter” is mostly the land of the “waqf” Islamic trusts. As is also well known, Islamic trusts are prohibited from selling their property because they are endowed for the benefit of a social purpose or for the benefit of a mosque or a religious place. The land of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is leased land owned by Islamic trusts. Mr. Abed Rabbo al-Saadi, who is the custodian of the bulk of the land, confirms that: “In 1880, some Jews emigrated to Jerusalem, they were in a deplorable state, they came to our ancestors and asked them to lease them this land, and because of their situation and persecution in Europe, our ancestors agreed. Our ancestors agreed to lease the land to a Jewish person named Yusuf ibn Rahamim Miyohas.” 7

Here we can come to the firm conclusion that the Jews who inhabited the so-called “Jewish Quarter” during the Ottoman rule rented their homes from Arabs and Islamic trusts, and did not buy them, because Islamic trusts do not sell their property. Legally, the majority of Jews are not owners of the properties they lived in, but remain tenants. Therefore, they are not entitled to claim ownership of this real estate. These properties are owned exclusively, and mostly by Islamic trusts.

How the Guardian of the Property of the Absentees Turned into a Despicable Thief

According to a credible research that was carried out by two Israeli criminologists, Uzi Livia and Ariel Aboksis, the state of Israel reached in total area of 20,770 square kilometers (more than four and a half million dunams) at the end of the Zionist war of aggression, which began on November 30, 1947 and ended on July 30, 1949. Most of this area, was considered to be the property of the absentees, i.e. Palestinian refugees, and constituted 77 percent of the total area of the Zionist entity. The absentees, a Zionist term, were “Arabs who “left”, and there are those who say they were “expelled” and/or “fled”, during the war of independence. Absentees’ property includes real estate, land, workshops, factories, bank accounts and movable property.” 8

After the end of the war, the newly established Zionist State designated a custodian on the property of Palestinian refugees and gave him a temporary role, with established legal arrangement to determine that role. Uzi Livia and Ariel Aboksis explain this role as follows:

… Basically, these laws are based on the principle that in a period of war, the government temporarily uses these properties for the benefit of the war effort. Its role is to preserve the property for the benefit of their owners or for war damage compensation, in order to return it to them when the state of emergency is abolished. Under this concept, the custodian was given only a temporary role. His primary duty was to preserve the property of those absentees in the transitional period. 9

The justification set by the Zionist state for the “temporary” seizure of the property of Palestinian refugees was that,

Because of their status as hostile citizens, that are located outside the country, under arrest or under surveillance, the law does not allow them to use their property as long as hostilities are under way. The moment the owners stop being absent, the custodian must return their property to them. Therefore, he cannot make a permanent and final decision on the property that he holds temporarily. For the same reason, he can rent property for only a short period of time, which does not exceed five years, and is not authorized to sell or transfer this property to others in an irreversible manner. 10

As a result of the limitations imposed by the law, the custodian of the property of the absentees requested, in 1949, that the government expand his powers so that, for example, he can transfer or lease property for a longer period than five years and also provide him with freedom of disposal, in order to allow the property to be placed in the service of the colonial settlement and colonial objectives of the Zionist entity. This required the enactment of a new law. 11

All requests of the custodian regarding the expansion of his powers were accepted, and the Zionist parliament enacted the “Absentee Property Act of 1950”. Under this law, all property owned by refugees, including the property of the Islamic Waqf,12 was transferred to the absolute control of the Zionist state, represented by the Zionist custodian on the property of refugees. Thus, the power of the custodian has been transformed into a government institution that is the richest in the Zionist state. 13

It is worth mentioning that the establishment of peace between the Arabs and the Zionist entity required talks and concessions, especially on the issue of the return of the Palestinian refugees. The Zionists opposed the return or compensation of the refugees and threw the blame for the creation of the refugee problem on the Arab side, and falsely accused the Arab side of rejecting peace. Historical facts prove that those who ethnically cleansed the Palestinians and that those who occupied half of the Palestinian proposed state under the Partition Resolution, were the Zionist side. 14 These facts have been confirmed by the two researchers Uzi Livia and Ariel Aboksis, who wrote that:

Thus, we believe that the first seeds of Israel’s anti-peace stance have been cultivated in Israel’s position on the return of refugees, which Israel has sharply opposed. All sources of living for Arab refugees who previously lived in the State of Israel has been completely obliterated. Their economy has been destroyed, so their re-absorption into Israel will produce a social and financial problem that is much worse than the arrangement of their absorption in every other country. 15

Thus, the Zionist State plundered and acted freely and without restrictions regarding the property of the Palestinian refugees, selling and renting it as it wished. In order to establish a false legal cover for this theft, the Parliament of the Zionist entity enacted the so-called “Absentee Property Act of 1950.” According to this law, the role of the custodian of the property of the absentees has changed from a “custodian” with temporary and limited powers, to a despicable thief armed with a settler colonial law. Here, the Zionist State has pursued, in its policies towards the property of the indigenous population, a settler colonial approach that is very similar to that pursued by all settler colonial states such as: the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa during the Apartheid regime, and Algeria under French settler colonialism. When comparing them with each other, one notices the great similarities among them regarding the course of action they adopted towards the lands of the indigenous population. Of course, there are special characteristics for each settler colonial project, and there is a different historical context. 

Today, the Zionist colonial entity is using the Absentee Property Act of 1950 to give justification and legal cover to all ethnic cleansing carried out in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, Al-Khan al-Ahmar, the Al-Walaji village, Jaffa, Hebron and the Negev region.

The Zionist entity uses all its colonial tools to carry out operations associated with ethnic cleansing such as unjust law, false documents, complicit colonial courts, colonial police and army, herds of armed and violent settlers, and settlement organizations financed with American money from Jews and others. All of them, under the leadership of the extremist colonial government of the Zionist right-wing parties, are carrying out a fierce offensive campaign of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian population. The focus of this study will be on the ethnic cleansing campaigns that are taking  place in Sheikh Jarrah and Salwan.

Preparing for Ethnic Cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood

Ethnic cleansing in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood began with the settlement organizations of “Benvenisti Endowment”, “Ateret Cohanim”, “the Nahlat Shamoun Limited”, and “El-Aad Society”, filing legal proceedings in Israeli courts against the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The first cases began in 1972, in which they claimed that Palestinian-inhabited houses were owned by Yemeni Jews. Lawyers for these organizations provided fake documents to prove their ownership.

In return, the Palestinians submitted their documents from Turkish agreements, and official receipts that clearly show that the land is Arab and owned by Islamic trusts, and that the Jews rented it from their owners and did not own it. The Palestinians have proved that they are the real owners of the land and that the land of the Islamic Trust is not sold, but is rented.

“We have provided all the documents,” said Yahya Abed Rabbo al-Saadi, who was the custodian for the bulk of the land in Sheikh Jarrah: “We presented to the court all the documents which prove Palestinian ownership of the land. These documents were issued to us by the Islamic Shari’a Court in Jerusalem, the Ottoman Archives in Ankara, and the Land Department of Amman…” 16 The Zionist Central Court refused to accept these documents, arguing that the court does not recognize them as valid documents.

For its part, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry sent 14 official documents concerning Sheikh Jarrah’s houses to the Palestinian Authority. These documents show that in 1956, the Jordanian Ministry of Development and the UNRWA refugee agency, concluded an agreement with 28 Palestinian refugee families under which 28 housing units were built in the Al-Jani vineyard to house them. UNRWA’s condition was for Palestinian refugees to relinquish their legal status as refugees. After three years, their ownership will be legally established. 17 For reasons that remain unknown, these families have not been able to register the land in their names. Consequently, these Jordanian documents have been submitted to the Zionist Central Court, which also rejected them.

In 2010, cartographer Khalil Tofakji traveled to Istanbul. At the Ottoman State Archives he found documents which prove that the territory of Sheikh Jarrah is Palestinian and owned by Palestinians, which is contrary to the Zionist claim. These documents have been submitted to the Israeli court. 18

The Zionist Central Court rejected both the Jordanian and Tofakji’s documents and claimed that it did not recognize their credibility. The court then issued an order to adopt the Zionist position which was based on fake documents and false allegations. This has always been the controversial approach of the Israeli courts.

The Role of Zionist Judicial Institutions in Land Cases

The writer Abdelkader Badawi believes that these Zionist judicial institutions have an important role in the settler colonial system and that they provide the Zionist government with a legal cover for the plunder of Palestinian property. No matter how fragile and discredited this cover may be, the oppression and arrogance of the Zionist entity and its instruments, make the settlers’ cases successful through falsification and when unjust judicial decisions are made, the Palestinians have no real power to change them. It is a racist and colonial justice that is devoid of justice, fairness and credibility. The writer further believes that,

It is customary in the Israeli judiciary system to accept the account of Jews and settlers, particularly in matters of land and property, without paying attention to the nature or eligibility of legal justifications, as these institutions have already existed to be, among other objectives and endeavors, an instrument of the settler colonial system to control the land, and to overcome all legal obstacles to this goal. 19

The writer Abdelkader Badawi stated that Zionist settler colonial associations played a big role “… Through its expansionist post-occupation settlement activities, which have never been separated from the activity, in support of successive Israeli governments, as well as, the Israeli judicial system. They constituted a tool of the Israeli settler colonial system of control, expropriation, displacement and expulsion…” 20 

These associations have emerged as “… a representative of the settlers, through the legal cases it filed in the Israeli courts requesting the evacuation of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood from its Palestinian residents…” 21

The Process of Ethnic Cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah

After the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, and its illegal annexation of it to Israel by the Zionist entity, “… The residents of The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood were surprised when two Jewish committees registered, in 1972, the ownership of the Palestinian-owned 18-dunum land, in settler’s name at the Israeli Department of Lands.” 22

Commenting on the Zionist courts and their arbitrary decisions against the Palestinian population in Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinian-American writer Stephen Salaita wrote that,

Palestinians don’t need to respect the institutions of the Zionist state precisely because those institutions negate the Palestinians’ simplest political imperative: existence. Those institutions represent the machinery of colonization. All settler colonies come equipped with a legal apparatus to validate their cruelty. We cannot expect Western pundits and politicians to question the institutional logic so harmful to Palestinians, for their own legitimacy is contingent on the reproduction of state power. 23

Salaita elaborates on his explanation of the logic on which the idea is based that “property is Jewish” and that the Zionist state seeks to restore it and return it to Jewish ownership. 

More nonsensically, we’re asked to assign ethnic characteristics to abstractions and inanimate objects. The basis for Israel’s aggression in Sheikh Jarrah (as throughout all of historic Palestine) is repossession of so-called Jewish property. The property, in other words, doesn’t belong to people who happen to be Jewish. The property itself is Jewish—nobody can specify which denomination—and is therefore fit only for a certain kind of inhabitant. The property has some kind of innate disposition. It is apparently capable of worship. It becomes a crass approximation of humanity. Endowing housing units with confessional qualities exemplifies the problem of prioritizing property over sentient life:  a dwelling has no utility beyond the project of demographic engineering. Under the Zionist regime, even brick and mortar are sectarian. 24

Both Noura Erikat and Mariam Barghouthi described the atmosphere at today’s Sheikh Jarrah as being “… practically a war zone as armed Israeli settlers, under the protection of Israeli police, terrorize the Palestinian residents. These are the very settlers who are looking to kick out families, including El-Kurd’s.” 25

The Settlers are Cowardly Thieves

I have observed Zionist colonial settlers for a number of years. I have also studied their conduct and explored their ideology. Based on my close observation of their conduct inside Israel proper, as well as inside the colonized territories of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Syrian Heights, I can certainly state the following.

All Zionist settlers are armed militia of fascists, psychologically deranged, cowards as individuals, and work with great passion as mercenaries of the Zionist settler colonial regime. They’re armed with guns and their Jewish religiosity is nothing but a fragile cover to hide their obnoxious behavior. They are inhuman, school dropouts and have a psycho-social willingness to earn their living by theft, bullying and extreme violence. They work in small groups that look like flocks of wild hyenas that go after their victims and keep tirelessly attempting to eat their flesh. They lack any human moral system but they seem to possess a capitalist system of robbers’ morality. In contrast to this distorted human situation, the Zionist and settler colonial class system is ready to defend their violent banditry behavior because it is itself an inhuman system that uses extreme colonial violence against the indigenous Palestinian population. In addition, the Zionist settler regime deploys the settlers in its colonial schemes. Consequently, the Zionist colonial system is extremely violent. It cannot live in tranquility and thus is unable to conduct a calm and civilized dialogue with the indigenous Palestinians.

Some settlers admit that they are thieves who steal Palestinian houses, some of whom openly admit it, such as the settler who lives in half of Mona al-Kurd’s house, where he told her, “If I don’t steal, your house it will be stolen by someone else,” said Mona al-Kurd, a young Palestinian woman who accused him of stealing her home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. 26

Other settlers hide their motives by offering bribes with a threat to the owner of the house. Zuhair Rajabi, who lives in Sheikh Jarrah’s neighborhood in a house with his wife and four children, said the settlers “tried to bribe me by paying 1 million shekels [$300,000], provided I will leave my house quietly. When I refused, they threatened to put me in prison. They then sent the Israeli police to my house to try to arrest me, claiming that I physically attacked the man who was suing me.” 27

These two examples could serve as a proof that the settlers do not own these houses and that the Israeli courts are complicit in the plunder of the indigenous Palestinians.

Inhuman Colonial Brutality

The methods of removing Palestinians from their homes are varied, but some are carried out with extreme cruelty and inhumanity, as happened to the Al-Ghawi family.

Nuha Atiyeh, a resident of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood recalls the following incident. “I watched the doors of our neighbors, the Al-Ghawi family, crash during a black night. The women were evicted by force and were thrown, in their night clothes, outside their house. This scene doesn’t escape my imagination. I remember taking some clothes from my house and giving them to the women.” 28

As a result of dozens of lawsuits filed by the settlers’ committees at the Zionist Central Court in Jerusalem, the Court issued a decision to vacate against 28 Palestinian nuclear families. The total number of people facing expulsion for settlers reached 500, including 111 children. 29/sup>

The Central Zionist Court itself ruled that seven other families would leave their homes from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood by August 1, 2021. In total, an additional 58 people, including 17 children, are to be forcibly displaced to allow Jewish settlers to occupy their homes. 30 The Zionist Central Court also ruled that four families — Kurd, Skaif, Qasim and Al-Jawaani — must leave their homes for settlers, or reach an agreement with these settler organizations by paying rent and recognizing settlers as landowners. 31

Here we clearly see that there are no limits to settler’s arrogance and no limits to colonial insolence, as aggressors and thieves ask real house owners to pay their rent for their houses to the thieves. Of course, if the real Palestinian house owners had acquiesced to this request, they would have lost their right to property.

Ethnic Cleansing in Silwan

In 2002, the custodian of Absentee Property transferred land from the village of Silwan to the “Benvenesti Development Fund”, whose administration belongs to the settler organization “Ateret Cohanim”. This decision was upheld by the Jerusalem District Court, and the transfer was made without informing the Palestinian residents living on the land since the 1950s, and who have contracts to prove it. 32

The colonial settlement project in the village of Silwan began “in 2004, when two outposts were established in the village. By 2014, there were six outposts ranging from apartments for individuals and entire buildings. “Since then, the “Ateret Cohanim” committee has submitted eviction orders against other Palestinian families. In 2017, Palestinian residents petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to challenge the evictions, arguing that in accordance with applicable Ottoman law at that time, the property applied only on buildings, which no longer exist, but not on the same land… 33

Similar to what happened in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, on 26 May 2021, the Jerusalem District Court held a hearing on the forced eviction of some 108 Palestinians from 18 families from their homes in the Batan al-Hawa neighborhood of Silwan. The Jewish “Benvenisti Development Fund” claims to own 5.2 dunums of the land of Batan al-Hawa neighborhood. 34

Israeli television channel 12 reported that settlers had placed Israeli flags on 15 houses in Silwan after they were captured by the “Ateret Cohanim”, association and handed over to the settlers’ families. The channel noted that these new houses that were seized joined 22 other houses recently captured by “Ateret Cohanim”. 35

It is worth mentioning that the Zionist state has “… A settlement strategy called the “Holy Basin”, consisting of the construction of housing units for settlers and a series of parks themed after Biblical places and figures around the Old City of Jerusalem. The plan would require the expulsion of Palestinian residents from Silwan neighborhoods and then the evacuation of 87 Palestinians from the Batan al-Hawa neighborhood of Silwan, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This will be done for the “Ateret Cohanim” settlers association.

Since 1995, the Israeli Antiquities Authority has been excavating sites in Silwan with the official support of the Settlers’ Foundation “Ire David” (the city of David), in order to create a new tourist attraction and find evidence of the 3,000-year-old “City of David”. 36

The group, which aims to expand the presence of settlers within the predominantly Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem around and inside the Old City, sued the residents of Batan al-Hawa, a district of Silwan, claiming that the land belonged to Yemeni Jews during the Ottoman period until 1938, when the residents were transferred to another location by the British Mandate authorities because of political tensions. 37

It is worth mentioning that the Zionist policy of uprooting and ethnic cleansing has been followed in a number of places in Palestinian geography such as the Red Khan, Jaffa, Hebron, the village of Al-Walajeh, and the Palestinian Negev region. These remain tense hotbeds ignited by right-wing leaders who have lost their minds. But this fire will burn their fingers and will increase the determination of the indigenous Palestinian population to unite efforts, escalate the struggle and continue the process of liberation.

The essence of Zionist claims about the property is that it is “Jewish property”, some of which belonged to Jews 3,000 years ago, and some of which belonged to Jews a little more than one hundred years ago. These allegations give no regard to modern laws in determining the legal acquisition of real estate, which have changed radically from the time of the Greeks, the Romans, the Mongols and the Vikings, where the property belonged to the usurper and the occupier, not to the indigenous peoples who lived above these properties.

This Zionist nonsense is sponsored and adopted by the Zionist colonial bodies, and those who defend them from Arab protectorates and vassals, European and American imperialists, and by the Zionist and reactionary Arab media, who are hostile to the rights of the Palestinian Arab people in their homeland especially their right to self-determination. 

It is scientifically known that the Jewish Torah does not constitute an official and credible document that is recognized by international law and therefore, can be presented in modern courts as a document of legal ownership. Moreover, God has not been recognized as a feudal landlord who owns the lands of the peoples and can distribute them to whoever he wants and denies them from whoever he wants. Consequently, the British imperialist Lord Balfour does not own Palestine, nor does the extremist right wing President Donald Trump own the colonized land of Palestine or the colonized Syrian Golan Heights, so he has no right to give these lands to the Zionist settler colonialists. 

It should be added that many of the historical events and “facts” mentioned in the Torah were partly a form of broad religious fiction and partly came out of the misappropriation of the heritage of Mesopotamian civilizations. The Torah has no solid scientific credibility, and whoever adopts it reflects the fact that he lacks credible legal documents. Therefore, the claims by the Zionist settler colonialists to their right to own Palestinian land and real estate based on the Torah are fragile and null and void because the real owners were and still are the Arab Palestinians, who are the indigenous people of Palestine, which constitutes a part of the greater Syrian motherland.

International Law is not a Tool in the Service of Zionist Settler Colonialism.

International law prohibits the occupying power from imposing its laws on the inhabitants of the area it has occupied because it is a war zone outside the sovereignty of the belligerent state. International law also prohibits the belligerent occupying power from transferring its citizens to live within the area it has occupied. Moreover, the occupying power may not change the laws in force within the occupied zone.

The Al-Haq human rights foundation stated that,

… the legal framework applicable in occupied East Jerusalem is international humanitarian and international human rights law. Israel is specifically prohibited from annexing the occupied territory under Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. As such, Israel’s application of its domestic law, including the Legal and Administrative Matters Law in 1970, and provisions of Israel Tenancy law are not only wrongful acts in violation of international law, of which there can be no recognition, but acts which third States must collectively work to bring to an end. 38

There are clear obligations under Article 43 of the Hague Regulations, to continue the status quo ante bellum including the preservation of private tenancy rights, which are further protected as private property of the civilian population under Article 46 of the Hague Regulations. In particular, such acts amount to forcible transfer, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and war crimes and crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. 39

American imperialism helps Zionist colonialism, embraces its wars of aggression and provides it with money and weapons. The imperialist West abandoned the Palestinian people, and the son-in-law of the American President, the Zionist Jared Kushner, who financed the right-wing settlement movement in Israel, was given absolute authority to fabricate “A peace process”, aided by the regimes of colonial mercenaries in the Gulf, the most important of which is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who just imprisoned his relatives, after he ordered the assassination of the Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Al-Khashoukji. 

Expected Results of a Deteriorating Zionist Path

Many indications are that the Zionist settlement entity will continue its Judaization quest in colonized East Jerusalem, but during this insane colonial quest, it has transformed East Jerusalem into the world’s most tense outpost that will become the poorest, most racist and most heinous “capital.” No matter how much the colonial mentality brings about more racist laws and more inhumane practices, the situation that is formed before the eyes of the peoples of the world will make the Zionist entity a rogue, aggressive, hideous and repulsive state.

The deteriorating path chosen by the extreme right-wing leadership of the Zionist entity has generated a severe political crisis that has shown a deep structural imbalance in the level of political leadership, which in turn has produced a turbulent political right, fragmented, and does not benefit, either from elections or from democracy to get out of its acute crisis. This deteriorating path has also produced a Zionist voter with callous consciousness, racial intolerance and ideological blindness. This deteriorated situation has produced more failed leadership than its predecessor. After four parliamentary elections that produced repeated results, the Zionist entity got itself into a fiasco that has no equivalent in the world. It is a lost entity that cannot save itself from the path of deterioration because it is the same path that South Africa followed until the world came to save it from its fiasco by imposing on it a solution that it does not desire.

Here it appears that the Palestinian steadfastness and determination to fight for its patriotic rights, with the assistance of Arab and international solidarity, will lead the Zionist regime to choose a solution similar to that chosen by South Africa. The Palestinian national struggle will not be extinguished, as it is developing and promoted by the united efforts of workers, and progressive elements in the Middle Class. During its development, all the reactionary elements, Palestinian, Arab and international, who together are attempting to preserve the dissonant parts of a rogue state that insists on falling, will disappear forever.

References

  1. Arnaout, Abdul Rauf, “Sheikh Jarrah: Guests, Tenants and Settlers”, Palestinian Studies Foundation, https://www.palestine-studies.org, access to the site on 1-6-2021
  2. Scholch, Alexander, “Jerusalem in 19th Century (1831 – 1917 AD)” in Jerusalem in History, Edited by K.J. Asali. 1989. ISBN 0-905906-70-5. Page 234. Quoting Muhammad Adib al-Amiri, “Al Quds al-‘Arabiyya“, Amman, 1971, page 12 and ‘Arif al-‘Arif, “Al-Nakba“, vol 2, Sidon and Beirut, page 490 (90%). As quoted by: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “Old City” (Jerusalem), https://en.wikipedia.org,1-6-2021.
  3. Dumper, Michael (2017). Najem, Tom; Molloy, Michael J.; Bell, Michael; Bell, John (eds.). “Contested Sites in Jerusalem: The Jerusalem Old City Initiative”. Routledge. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-317-21344-4. As quoted by: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “Old City” (Jerusalem), https://en.wikipedia.org,1-6-2021.
  4. Livia, Uzi and Aboksis, Ariel, “For the development of the country and for the benefit of its citizens” (in Hebrew), https://web.archive.org, 30-10-2017
  5. 2. See Ilan Papi’s Book, Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine https://www.ebay.com, 9-6-2021
  6. Alsaafin, Linah, “What is happening in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah?”, https://www.aljazeera 
  7. Badawi, Abdel Kader, “Nahalat Chamoun”: A private settler’s company and the arm of the Israeli government in the case of the displacement of the people of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood”, https://www.madarcenter.org,17-5-2021
  8. Jundi, Aseel, “Neighborhood’s resilient women say ‘we will not leave’”, https://www.middleeasteye.net, 11-5-2021
  9.  Salaita, Steve,  “Sheikh Jarrah: Zionism Distilled to Its Purest Expression”, https://alethonews.com, 12-5-2021
  10. Erakat, Noura, and Barghouti, Mariam, “Sheikh Jarrah highlights the violent brazenness of Israel’s colonialist project”, https://www.washingtonpost.com, 10-5-2021
  11.  AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES, “Video shows Israeli settler trying to take over Palestinian house”, https://www.aljazeera.com, 4-5-2021
  12. Kunzl, Kelly, “Families face imminent evictions in East Jerusalem”, The Electronic Intifadahttps://electronicintifada.net, 24-12-2020
  13. Jundi, Aseel, “Neighborhood’s resilient women say ‘we will not leave’”, https://www.middleeasteye.net, 11-5-2021
  14. Linah, Alsaafin, “What is happening in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah?”, https://www.aljazeera.com, 1-5-2021
  15. Palestine Chronicle, “East Jerusalem: Jewish Settlers Seize 15 Palestinian Homes in Silwan”, https://www.palestinechronicle.com, 8-4-2021
  16. MEE staff, “Not just Sheikh Jarrah: Palestinians elsewhere are facing forced eviction”, https://www.middleeasteye.net, 11-5-2021
  17. AL-JAZERA AND NEWS AGENCIES, “Hundreds hurt as Palestinians protest evictions in Jerusalem”,  https://www.aljazeera.com, 8-5-2021

Zuhair Sabbagh is a writer on Israeli and Palestinian issues. He has published a number of books and research articles in both English and Arabic. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He lives in Nazareth, Palestine

Hajja Nafisa: The story of a special bond with Al-Aqsa Mosque

Sara Dajani

9 June 2021 19:04 UTC

Meet Nafisa Khuwais, the 68-year-old lady from Jerusalem who is banned from al-Aqsa Mosque yet she continues to drive worshippers to the holy site every day using her Tuk tuk

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Israel, Don’t Raise the Roof Beams High As You “Resettle” Lifta; Its Owners Will Return

By Rima Najjar

Global Research, June 01, 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). 

Visit and follow us on Instagram at @crg_globalresearch.

***

The latest crisis in Palestine cannot be set aside as another passing episode in Israel’s forever war against the Palestinian people.

We are now witnessing shocks within Israel behind the Green Line, something that Israel had hitherto been able to contain. In the process, it pretended, along with much of the western world, that it is the “longest-lived democracy in the Middle East” and that only its continued occupation of the West Bank and its harsh blockade of Gaza undermine its “constitutional ideals”- ideals now exposed for what they’ve always been: Jewish supremacist in nature. 

We know, as CJ Werleman wrote in Inside Arabia on May 14, 2021,

“Israel is a country built on racism, dispossession, and genocide. The recent rise in attacks by Israeli settlers, vigilante groups, and lynch mobs targeting Palestinians are a continuation of that history and must be addressed.”

There is an unbreakable thread between the Palestinian man lynched by Israeli Jews on the pavement after being pulled from his car in Jaffa and then beaten unconscious recently and the killings and massacres at the hands of Zionist militia in Jaffa and elsewhere in 1948 that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, as recounted by Israeli historian Benny Morris.

The myth, amplified by Wikipedia, is that historians [presumably Israeli] disagree “concerning the effect these killings and massacres had on the Palestinian refugee flight and whether or not these killings and massacres were carried out with the intent of hastening it.”

Palestinian historians have absolutely no doubt about what happened then and why, just as we Palestinians have no doubt about what is happening now in occupied Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, in Gaza and in several towns and cities behind the Green Line where Israel has imposed states of emergency — and why.

Take, for example, my own father’s village of Lifta on the northwestern edge of Jerusalem. It is the last remaining Palestinian village that was ethnically cleansed of its population in the 1948 Nakba. Now, Israel is set to destroy what remains of it.

The Jerusalem Post (JP), an Israeli English newspaper where facts are shaped by a narrative driven by Zionist values instead of knowledge, reported on this deeply disturbing piece of news this month by denying, like those Israeli historians who are still disputing historical facts, that any ethnic cleansing took place in Lifta — apparently, my grandfather just up and put his eight children and wife in a truck and abandoned his home so that, 73 years later, his village would be “resettled” by Israeli Jews and a luxury hotel built there.

The Israeli newspaper published the following shameful headline:

“Arab village of Lifta, abandoned in ’48, to house new Israeli neighborhood: The western neighborhood in Jerusalem which was abandoned in ’48 will be resettled with 259 housing units, including a luxury hotel.”

report by Hidden Palestine: a News & Media Website, which, unlike JP, is a site driven by a narrative that values freedom from oppression, provides us with the following facts:

The Israeli land authority announced this month that it is taking bids from construction companies to take charge of the real estate development of Lifta, with the contract set to last 98 years.

The agreement includes the construction of 259 buildings, as well as commercial and business units, in addition to a hotel. If it moves forward, the deal would also see the majority of the Palestinian village’s remaining buildings razed to the ground.

Thanks to petitions by its past Palestinian residents, Lifta was declared as one of 25 endangered sites on the 2018 World Monuments Watch list. It also appears on UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Sites, which has led to threats from Netanyahu that Israel would withdraw from UNESCO.

Lifta has few parallels anywhere in the world. The Palestinian village, lying on a slope at the entrance to Jerusalem, is the last ethnically cleansed Palestinian village to be frozen in time. Here, hundreds of beautiful Palestinian stone houses have continued to stand the test of time, empty and neglected for the past 73 years.

With a history dating back at least 700 years as a Palestinian Arab village, Lifta was among the wealthiest communities in the Jerusalem area, and the women were known for their fine embroiders. Thob Ghabani bridal dresses were sewn in Lifta, which were made of ghabani, a natural cotton covered with gold color silk floral embroidery produced in Aleppo. The village’s clothing stores attracted Palestinians and Arabs from across the Levant.

The entire population was forced out following brutal attacks by the invading Hagannah militias in early 1948. It is an incredible but depressing place to visit, and its destruction would contribute to the continued erasure of Palestinian culture and heritage.

The Jerusalem Post’s story made it sound as though the “resettling” of Lifta was a preservation and development project. What it is, in fact, is a rewriting of history.

Destroying Lifta destroys opportunities for Palestinians to uncover the past of both Palestinians and Israelis: “Lifta has a lasting value in its own right, as it can link restitution to the right of return. Moreover, its preservation will be an opportunity to assert the restoration of dignity in the Palestinian as well as the Jewish community. Finally, by halting the new development in Lifta, UNESCO will affirm its global credibility in response to cultural cleansing.” [See LIFTA AFTER ZIONIST PLANNING and PLANNING AS A CRIMINAL ACT]

Israel’s expulsions of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, Jerusalem neighborhoods just outside the Green Line, are motivated by the same Zionist objective that resulted in the expulsion, also known as ethnic cleansing, of Palestinians like my family from Lifta, which is just inside the Green line. (See Israeli 2019 map of so-called “Greater Israel” below with Lifta, Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan circled). That objective is Israel’s desire to Zionize/Judaize all of Jerusalem and all of Palestine.

Israeli 2019 map of so-called “Greater Israel” below with (left to right) Lifta, Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan circled

I hope the ongoing worldwide protests on social media against Israel’s crimes will now add the rallying cry of #SaveLifta, in addition to #SaveSheikhJarrah and #SaveSilwan.

If you are still in doubt about Israel’s intention, listen to two Palestinian citizens of Israel reacting to the message they have heard loud and clear all their lives from successive Israeli governments:

Eva Najjar, Haifa-based lead designer and developer at Just Vision, writes:

“I knew I was bringing my children into an ethnic-supremacist state when they were born. But after these past weeks, I don’t know how I can continue to raise them here.” (In The Washington Post: Palestinian citizens of Israel like me are facing terrifying new attacks)

Diana Buttu wonders:

“How do I explain to my 7-year-old son what being a Palestinian citizen of Israel means? What future can he look toward, when the leaders of the government incite hatred against him? What audacious hope can he have when he is bound to face racism and discrimination in education, employment and housing? For now, I try to shield him from the images on television and on our phones, but there will soon come a time when I cannot shield him from the reality that he is surrounded by people who consider him a second-class citizen.” (In The New York Times: The Myth of Coexistence in Israel)

I am heartened by the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) Special Session held on May 27, which for the first time has included a geographic scope encompassing Israeli violations targeting the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line.

Israel’s institutionalized regime of racial domination and oppression targets the Palestinian people as a whole, including those no longer in Lifta through no fault of their own, who have more right by far to reconstruct their homes in Lifta than Israeli Jews have in constructing housing and luxury hotels to “resettle” the village. We will return, so don’t raise the roof beams high, Israel.

*

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Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem and whose mother’s side of the family is from Ijzim, south of Haifa. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.

She is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image: Taken from slides in “Reconstruction of Memory — Lifta — 2007” by Malkit Shoshan

‘Israeli’ Occupation Forces Run Over Palestinian Teen Biker in Al-Quds for Carrying Flag of Palestine

31/05/2021

‘Israeli’ Occupation Forces Run Over Palestinian Teen Biker in Al-Quds for Carrying Flag of Palestine

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ occupation forces have run over a Palestinian child in the occupied East al-Quds as he was carrying a Palestinian flag on his bike before detaining the wounded minor.

The Palestinian Shehab news agency reported that the occupation forces chased 15-year-old Jawad Abbasi with their vehicle in Ras al-Amud neighborhood in Silwan, south of the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, on Sunday afternoon before running over him and wounding his legs.

The brutal attack on the Palestinian minor was carried out under the pretext of raising the Palestinian flag on his bicycle, the agency added.

Silwan, home to about 33,000 Palestinians, is located outside the walls of the Old City of occupied al-Quds and its sacred sites. ‘Israeli’ occupation officials have been moving Jewish extremists to the neighborhood since the 1980s, and currently, several hundred settlers live there in heavily protected settlement compounds.

This has resulted in numerous human rights violations, including the forced eviction and displacement of Palestinian residents. The Silwan properties are claimed by extremists backed by Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing foundation that works to strengthen the Jewish presence in East al-Quds.

More than 600,000 Zionist settlers occupy over 230 settlements built since the 1967 ‘Israeli’ occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

Israeli Authorities to Demolish 13 Palestinians Houses in East Jerusalem

October 19, 2020

Israeli forces surround 3 houses in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, in preparation for demolition. (Photo: via Twitter)

The Israeli municipality in West Jerusalem has issued demolition notices against 13 inhabited Palestinian houses in Silwan, a neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported today.

Fakhri Abu Diab, a member of the Silwan Defense Committee, told WAFA that the municipality ordered the demolition of the houses under the pretext they were built without a permit, noting that there are also unauthorized houses taken over and illegally inhabited by Israeli settlers in the same area but did not receive demolition orders.

Abu Diab said that the Palestinian houses were built over 10 years ago and are inhabited by 76 people, mostly children and women.

Israel considers Silwan as the City of David and is in a rush to turn it into an Israeli Jewish neighborhood after expelling its Palestinian residents.

According to Israeli rights group B’Tselem, the”destruction of the neighborhood denies its residents the right to housing, which is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living as it is defined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

“In addition, the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the occupying state to destroy the property of residents of occupied territory, who benefit from the status of protected persons,” B’tselem added.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

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