Israeli authorities have evicted a Palestinian family in East Jerusalem from their home. The case is causing a stir among Palestinians and has led to international calls in advance for Israel not to proceed with the eviction.
The house, which was immediately demolished, stood near Sheikh Jarrah. Evictions planned there last year sparked armed conflict between Israel and Hamas for days at a time.
Authorities had previously confiscated the land and approved its demolition in Sheikh Jarrah. However, a court ruled that the building had been illegally built on land designated for the construction of a school. According to Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, the plot in question had previously been sold to the municipality by the former Palestinian owners.
In Arab East Jerusalem occupied by Israel, there are holy places for Muslims, such as the al-Aqsa Mosque. Over the years, thousands of Jewish settlers have settled in the area, much to the ire of the Palestinians. They hoped to establish their own capital in the east of Jerusalem eventually.
Earlier this week, the family in the house threatened to set themselves on fire if they had to get out. As a result, the police were forced to withdraw on Monday. In action on Wednesday, 25 Palestinians are said to have been arrested, including five residents of the demolished house.
Several diplomats and human rights activists previously called on the Israeli government to stop the eviction plans. This week, the head of an EU mission that visited the West Bank and Gaza Strip said that “evictions into the occupied territory are a violation of international human rights”. The Dutch ambassador to Israel, Hans Docter, made a similar appeal on Twitter and said he feared that the action “risks further escalation”.