Diplomats slam Israel over attempts to expel Palestinian family from Sheikh Jarrah

Diplomats slam Israel over attempts to expel Palestinian family from Sheikh Jarrah
3 min read
18 January, 2022
The EU's delegation to the Palestinian people tweeted that it's '[i]mperative to deescalate the situation and seek a peaceful solution'.
The Salahia family is made up of seven adults and five children [Mucahit Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty]

Diplomats and global institutions have slammed Israel over its continued attempts to expel Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

It comes as Israel on Tuesday released one 22-year-old Palestinian man who was detained on Monday amid Tel Aviv's efforts to take his family's home, under the pretext of "constructing a school".

The Palestinian man, identified as Abdullah Ikermawi, who belongs to the Salahia family, was conditioned to pay a 500 shekel ($160) fine and ordered to stay away from the house for three days, according to Palestine's official Wafa news agency.

"The occupation forces arrested my son Abdullah yesterday [Monday], just for filming the occupation security's siege of our Sheikh Jarrah house and their attack against us and attempt to remove us from our home," his mother, Amal Salahia, said.

Though the Salahia family, made up of seven adults and five children, have not yet been forced out of their house, Israel knocked down a plant nursery they own.

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"The eviction, should it be completed, would leave five children with nowhere to live in the middle of a winter cold snap – this cannot be allowed to happen," Norwegian Refugee Council Palestine chief Caroline Ort noted on Monday.

Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, the European Union's most-senior official in Jerusalem, and other diplomats looked on as Israel worked to try and force the Salahias out that day.

The EU's delegation to the Palestinian people tweeted: "Imperative to deescalate the situation and seek a peaceful resolution.

"Evictions/demolitions are illegal under international law and significantly undermine the prospects for peace as well as fuel tensions on the ground."

The UK's consul general in Jerusalem, Diane Corner, also "b[ore] witness" to what was happening, according to the consulate.

It added: "Evictions in Occupied Territory are against international humanitarian law in all but the most exceptional circumstances.

"The United Kingdom urges the Government of Israel to cease such practices which only serve to increase tensions on the group."

Neighbouring Jordan slammed Israel's actions, according to Wafa.

The foreign ministry said: "The evictions and displacement of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem are a flagrant violation of international law and international humanitarian law.

"Israel, as the occupying power in East Jerusalem, is mandated by international law to protect Palestinians' rights to their homes."

It also argued demolitions, expulsions and other Israeli actions "undermine the chances of realising a just and comprehensive peace founded on the two-state solution".

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation also hit out at Israel on Tuesday, situating what has happened as part of a wider effort at removing Palestinians and urging global actors to work to stop Israel's abuses in Jerusalem, Wafa said.