Palestinian NGOs have raised their concerns over the Israeli plan to evict five Palestinian families from their homes in the Batn Al-Hawa neighbourhood of occupied Jerusalem, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported on Friday.
Israeli occupation authorities have been working to evict Palestinians from this neighbourhood in favour of the Ateret Cohanim settler organisation.
The five families are extensions of the Shehadeh family, which has been involved in a legal battle against Ateret Cohanim. The settler organisation claims that the family house was owned by a Jewish family before 1948.
They stated that the Israeli occupation authorities use a law preventing Palestinians from returning to the homes they left in 1948, while giving Jewish groups the right to evict Palestinians from their own homes under claims of being owned by Jews before 1948.
This law was implemented in the neighbourhood of Silwan, reported Al-Quds Al-Arabi, adding that around 80 Palestinian families facing the threat of deportation are living in the same neighbourhood. It also noted that 17 families had already lost their homes.
"For Palestinians, life in Batn Al-Hawa is a pressure cooker," Israeli rights group B'Tselem expressed. "The neighbourhood, located in Silwan in East Jerusalem, is deliberately neglected by the Israeli authorities, primarily the Jerusalem municipality, and suffers overcrowding and a lack of basic public infrastructure needed for everyday life."
B'Tselem shared that Palestinians: "Live under a constant threat of eviction, as the Israeli authorities, using the Ateret Cohanim settler organisation as a proxy, work to evict some 700 Palestinians from their homes in the neighbourhood. This campaign, which is fully backed by Israeli courts – including the Supreme Court – relies on disregard for key facts, dubious arguments and flawed legal reasoning."