A Palestinian family in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood facing the threat of eviction for a Jewish settler group, has been granted a brief respite, following a decision by an Israeli court in occupied Jerusalem to suspend the eviction order due to fears over reigniting violence.
Earlier this month an Israeli court had ordered that the 11 member Salem family be evicted from their homes between 1 March and 1 April.
The ruling came after a right-wing member of the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem city council, Yonatan Yosef, and the deputy mayor, Arieh King, claimed to have bought the house from its alleged “pre-1948 Jewish owners”.
The residence of the Salem family — three generations who were born in the home — is located on the western side of Sheikh Jarrah. Out of the 45 Palestinian families that live in the neighbourhood, 17 are facing eviction orders. The Salems’, though, are said to be the only ones who have seen the legal process through to its conclusion, with the Jerusalem courts rejecting the residents’ appeals.Like many Palestinians living in Sheikh Jarrah, the Salems were expecting to be thrown out of their homes imminently. However, police sources and other officials believed the evacuation of the family could have reignited violence in Jerusalem. Police were particularly concerned over the timing of the planned eviction, close to Ramadan, which starts in early April this year.
Last Ramadan, the threat of eviction of Palestinians in Sheik Jarrah sparked weeks of violence, culminating in Israel’s brutal 11-day military assault on the Gaza Strip, which killed 230 Palestinians, including 65 children
Lawyers working to evict Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah are said to be financed by right-wing NGOs that are working to populate the neighbourhood with Jewish settlers.