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Eviction cases filed against 180 Palestinian households in occupied East Jerusalem

November 4, 2016 at 10:45 am

Israeli police stand guard at a Palestinian household as they are being forced to hand over their home to Jewish settlers in east Jerusalem on April 18 2012 [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

Eviction cases have been filed against at least 180 Palestinian households in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, the majority initiated by settler organisations.

The data was gathered in a new “mapping exercise” carried out by the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

As a result of this avalanche of cases, 818 Palestinians, including 372 children, are facing displacement.

The two most affected areas are Silwan (67 households) and Sheikh Jarrah (66 households), both of which have been the focus of activity by settler groups supported by Israeli authorities.

There are also 21 Palestinian households facing eviction in different parts of the Old City.

“In recent years,” OCHA notes, “Israeli settlers have intensified efforts to take control of properties within Palestinian neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem. This has led to restrictions on public space, residential growth and freedom of movement for Palestinians and resulted in tensions and clashes.”

According to OCHA, the “settler takeover of these properties exacerbates the coercive environment facing Palestinians and increases their risk of forcible transfer.”

The eviction cases “exist within the context of Israel’s annexation of occupied East Jerusalem and the subsequent extension of its domestic legal jurisdiction to the annexed area.” Settler groups initiate cases based on “ownership claims” and claims “the residents are no longer ‘protected tenants’.”

OCHA refers to UN Security Council resolutions which “affirm that all legislative and administrative measures taken by Israel to alter the character and status of Jerusalem are null and void”, including Security Council resolutions 252, 267, 471, 476 and 478.