Diplomats from fifteen European countries called on Israel yesterday to halt the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, Anadolu has reported. A statement to this effect was issued after a delegation of diplomats visited occupied Jerusalem and met the Salem, Dajani, Daoudi and Hammad families in Sheikh Jarrah, and the Sub Laban family in the Old City.
The Sub Laban family is facing an eviction order to leave their home next Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Israeli Supreme Court is considering a request submitted by illegal Jewish settlers to evict the Dajani, Daoudi and Hammad families on 29 March, during the fasting month of Ramadan.
An Israeli court postponed on 9 March consideration of the request to evict the Salem family from their home. No new date for the hearing was set. However, the Israeli-run Jerusalem Municipality informed the family yesterday that it must demolish a room in their home within 21 days, on the pretext that its construction was unauthorised.
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"At least 80 Palestinians will be made homeless if the evictions go ahead," warned the European diplomats. "We take advantage of this visit to reaffirm our strong opposition to the Israeli settlement policy, which is illegal according to international law, as well as the measures taken in this context, including the evictions."
The Israeli government's eviction policy "raises tensions and contributes to the escalation of violence in the West Bank," they added. "This increases the concern that the Israeli authorities plan to continue the policy of demolitions in East Jerusalem during the month of Ramadan."
The diplomats pointed out that the Israeli settlement policy undermines the chances of a two-state solution and lasting peace in the region. "It also undermines severely the possibility of Jerusalem being the future capital of the two states."
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Raafat Sub Laban told Anadolu that the evictions are part of the organised Israeli policy of forcible displacement of Palestinians from East Jerusalem. "This policy amounts to a war crime, and the international community must act to stop this unjust situation that has lasted for more than 75 years." The building in which his family lives, he added, was once home to a number of Palestinian families who have been forced out since the 1970s. "It has been seized by illegal settlers. We are the last Palestinian family here."
He pointed out that the Israeli government is no longer ashamed and does not hide its racism and discrimination against the Palestinians. "My mother has been suffering severe anxiety and panic attacks, as well as depression due to the repeated Israeli attempts to expel her and seize her home. And we are not alone; at least 200 families in occupied East Jerusalem face the threat of eviction."
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