Palestinian family forcibly evicted from its home in occupied East Jerusalem

Today, the Israeli Police forcibly evicted eight Palestinians, including two children, from their home in the Old City of East Jerusalem, and transferred the property to an Israeli settler organization (Ateret Cohanim), that reportedly purchased it in the 1980s. The evicted family has been renting this property since the 1930s. The home is part of a larger residential complex comprising nine apartments, eight of which were occupied by Israeli settlers in July 2010, causing the displacement of seven Palestinian households. In August 2016, another three Palestinian families, consisting of seven adults and ten children, were evicted from their homes in the Old City in similar circumstances.

Today’s eviction follows protracted legal proceedings that have been ongoing since the late 1990s. The latest stage involved an appeal by the family to the Israeli Supreme Court, challenging a previous ruling by a district court, which rejected the family’s claim about its status as protected tenant; the appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court on 30 May 2016.

Displacement not only deprives people of their homes, but often disrupt their livelihoods, leading to entrenched poverty and increased aid dependency; its impact on children can be particularly devastating, including depression and anxiety.

In recent decades, Israeli settler organizations have intensified their efforts to take control of properties within Palestinian neighborhoods in the so-called ‘Holy Basin’ area of East Jerusalem – comprising mainly the Muslim and Christian quarters of the Old City, Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah, and At-Tur (Mount of Olives).

There are dozens of evictions cases launched by settler organizations against Palestinian families currently pending before Israeli courts.

The establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, contravenes international humanitarian law. Settlements established in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem have led to restrictions on public space, residential growth and freedom of movement in the affected areas. The continuous deployment of private security guards and police forces to protect the new settlements has also triggered tensions and clashes, and undermined the physical security of Palestinian residents.

Data and analysis provided in this Flash Update is based on preliminary information available. OCHA oPt Flash Updates are issued following developments raising humanitarian concerns and requiring coordinated humanitarian responses.

See here a July 2016 article on this case.