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Israel court upholds eviction of dozens of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem

An Israeli policeman stands outside the former house of a Palestinian family as some of their members look from a gate, during their eviction in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem near the Old City on 10 July 2019. [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]
An Israeli policeman stands outside the former house of a Palestinian family as some of their members look from a gate, during their eviction in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem near the Old City on 10 July 2019. [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

The Jerusalem District Court on Monday rejected an appeal filed by Palestinian families living in a building in the Batn Al-Hawa neighbourhood in East Jerusalem against two previous court orders that force them to give up their homes to extremist Jewish settlers, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported.

The paper said Jewish settler groups filed lawsuits against the 87 Palestinians who make up the families living in the building, including children who have been living in the building since 1963, demanding they be evicted under the pretext that the property was owned by Jews before 1948.

Haaretz said some of the Palestinian families who live in the building owned properties in the area prior to the formation of the state of Israel in 1948 but occupation authorities in the new state confiscated them under the Absentees' Property Law, a legal instrument used by Israel to take possession of the land belonging to forcibly displaced Palestinians and the Muslim Waqf.

The paper quoted Peace Now activist Hagit Ofran as saying she fears settlers will expel the Palestinian families before US President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on 20 January.

READ: Israel's growing strategic threat to our freedom of speech

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