The Europeans for al-Quds Association strongly condemns the Israeli plans to carry out mass demolitions and displacement, which are crimes that amount to ethnic cleansing, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem.
The association declared in a statement, that it followed a series of dangerous Israeli decisions regarding the demolition of dozens of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. These decisions threaten hundreds with forced displacement, including women and children and requires immediate and urgent intervention to stop these gross violations of human rights.
Besides, the association had launched, in cooperation with parliamentarians in Europe, an initiative to urge their countries to take firm positions towards the Israeli measures that seek to impose a unilateral fait accompli in the occupied Jerusalem.
The most important details about the recent decisions:
• On 4 March 2021, The Israeli Supreme Court decided to reject an appeal submitted by three Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem against the Magistrate Court’s decision issued on 4 September 2020 to evacuate them. Thus, the evacuation decision will be enforced against the Hammad, Dawoudi, and Dajani families, consisting of seven households and 25 individuals, including eight children.
• This decision comes after the Supreme Court of Israel rejected on 10 February 2021, the appeal of four families from the Sheikh neighbourhood against the Magistrate Court’s decision issued against them in October 2020. The families of al-Jauni, al-Qasim, Iskafi, and al-Kurd, include seven households of 30 individuals, including ten children.
• In November 2020, the Israeli Magistrate Court decided to activate the Al-Sabbagh family’s evacuation. The family consists of five households and 32 people, including ten children.
• Thus, 19 households from eight families, comprising 78 people, of whom 28 are children, remain threatened with forced displacement at any moment.
• Moreover, on Thursday 11 March 2021, the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem unveiled a decision that rejected engineering plans for the Al-Bustan neighbourhood in Silwan. The Court also decided not to extend the freeze on the demolition of the neighbourhood’s homes. Pursuant to this development, 100 houses, accommodating over 1550 people, most of them children and women, in the Al Bustan neighbourhood are at imminent risk of displacement.
The head of the Association of Europeans for al-Quds, Mohammed Hannoun, confirmed that these plans come in light of the acceleration of the demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem. “In a report we issued on Israeli violations during 2020, the data showed that the Israeli occupation forces destroyed 148 homes, displacing 450 people in East Jerusalem neighbourhoods during 2020,” said Hannoun.
Hannoun added, “according to the United Nations resolutions, Israel’s actions are characterized by racial discrimination and threaten to displace hundreds of Jerusalemites to change the demographic reality in the occupied city.”
Mr Hannoun stressed that the Israeli destruction and unlawful deportation of civilians in the occupied territories violate the fourth Geneva Convention and constitute a war crime under paragraph 4 of Article 8 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Mr Hannoun accordingly urgently calls for rapid action to put more pressure on Israel to stop implementing these plans that violate human rights rules and warn of a new escalation that threatens any prospect for peace and stability in the region.