A Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem are facing eviction after their appeals for the eviction process to be frozen were rejected by Israel’s courts. The Sabbagh family moved to East Jerusalem in the 1950s after Israel expelled them from their homes in what is called the Nakba. The Sabbagh family are part of the over 70% of the Palestinian population that was displaced in the Nakba.
Residing in occupied East Jerusalem for more than sixty years the Sabbagh’s now face eviction for a second time after settlers asserted control over the property. On the one hand the Israeli government denies the Sabbagh family the right to return to their original home which is now under Israeli control. And on the other hand, Israel considers them to lack rights over their current home in east Jerusalem. The injustice to the Sabbagh family is only worsened by the Israeli courts decision to hand their homes to illegal Jewish settlers.
Settlers with the help of Israeli institutions are systematically claiming Palestinian homes and slowly cleansing east Jerusalem of its Palestinian residents. Changing the demographic makeup of occupied territories like East Jerusalem is a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The International Court of Justice, the United Nations General Assembly and the Red Cross have all affirmed that East Jerusalem is not an exception to the Geneva Convention.
This process was described by anti-settlement activist Hagit Ofran as an attempt to ‘clear the area’ in the name of building settlements. It is believed that hundreds of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem will face eviction in the coming year.