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Sheikh Jarrah families warn: Israel attorney general's decision paves way for displacement

Avichai Mandelblit, Israel's Attorney General on November 21, 2019 in Jerusalem, Israel [Amir Levy/Getty Images]
Avichai Mandelblit, Israel's Attorney General on November 21, 2019 in Jerusalem, Israel [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

A committee representing Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in the occupied city of Jerusalem yesterday warned that the Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit's decision not to intervene in their case paves the way for their forcible displacement from their homes.

Yesterday, Mandelblit informed the Supreme Court that he will not intervene in the legal proceedings of Sheikh Jarrah case in which four Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem are facing forced expulsion to make way for illegal settlers.

His office stated that Mandelblit had reviewed all the materials and "In view of the many legal proceedings conducted over the years in relation to the real estate at the center of the dispute, the attorney-general came to the general conclusion that there is no room for him to appear in the proceedings."

The attorney general's decision leaves the Supreme Court free to decide whether to hear the four Palestinian families' appeal of two lower court's verdicts that they must leave their homes.

READ: Israeli police detain prominent Sheikh Jarrah activist

Responding to Mandelblit's decision, the Sheikh Jarrah committee said in a statement: "the Israeli occupation government starting with the prime minister to all Israeli institutions and activities seek to displace and evacuate Sheikh Jarrah in order to perpetuate the settlement crime in East Jerusalem."

"This crime disregards all international conventions and human rights," the committee said, stressing that these attempts will not weaken the residents' will to stay in their lands.

Lawyer Sami Arsheed, who represents the Sheikh Jarrah residents, said the attorney general's position means refusing to discuss Sheikh Jarrah's case as a constitutional issue or an issue that has dimensions in international law or human rights and is another attempt to weaken the case against the forced expulsions.

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