Israeli court delays hearing in Sheikh Jarrah eviction case

Israeli court delays hearing in Sheikh Jarrah forced eviction case
2 min read
Israel's justice ministry said it would delay a key Monday hearing in a case that could see Palestinian families evicted from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah area of Jerusalem.
Palestinians face eviction from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah area [Getty]

Israel's justice ministry said it would delay a key Monday hearing in a case that could see Palestinian families forcefully evicted from their Jerusalem homes to make way for Jewish settlers.

"In all the circumstances and in light of the attorney general's request, the regular hearing for tomorrow, May 10, 2021 (is) cancelled," it said in a statement Sunday, adding it would schedule a new hearing within 30 days.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been wounded due to violence by Israeli forces in recent days in east Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, the scene of a long-running land encroachment issue which is located a short walk from the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Jewish settlers have laid claim to the properties based on a highly dubious assertion that they owned land in Sheikh Jarrah before the creation of Israel.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced by Zionist militias in the war that accompanied Israel's establishment in 1948.

Sheikh Jarrah along with the rest of east Jerusalem came under the control of Jordan following that war.

Many refugees settled in the district after fleeing Zionist forces in other parts of what was now Israel.

Israel then seized East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it.

Early this year, the Jerusalem district court ruled in favour of Jewish settlers who laid claim to land in the Sheikh Jarrah district, now home to around 30 Palestinians from four families.

Palestinians argue that discriminatory laws mean they are unable to claim back their properties in East Jerusalem, which is annexed by Israel.

The Palestinian families' lawyer, Hosni Abu Hussein, also accused the settlers of fraud.

"The registration of the lands in the name of the settlement association took place through fraud and deception, in collusion with the commissioner of public properties and the registrar of Israeli lands," he told AFP.

The dispute, in a strategic location close to Jerusalem's Old City, has added fuel to tensions caused by Israel's  intimidation and attacks on Palestinian worshippers at the nearby Al-Aqsa mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Over 200 Palestinians were injured after Israeli forces fired rubber bullets against Muslim worshippers at the mosque on Friday, with a further 100 injured in attacks on protesters and worshippers by Israeli security forces on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

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