Friday, May 8, 2009

Update on the Al Hanoun and Al Ghawi families facing eviction in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem

The al Hanoun and al Ghawi families continue to face the threat of eviction from their homes. The land the houses were built on were bought by the United Nations from the Jordanian government in 1956 in order to build houses for refugees of the 1948 War. After 1967, and Israel's subsequent occupation of East Jerusalem, Israel has pursued a policy of Judiazation of East Jerusalem resulting in the displacement of many Palestinian residents.

A press conference was held on May 6th in order to raise awareness regarding the recent Israeli District Court decision to issue an ultimatum to the al Ghawi and al Hanoun families giving them 10 days to voluntarily evacuate their homes or face punitive measures (including forcible expulsion from their homes).

Below is Maher Hanoun, one of 53 family members of the two families affected by the court decision.

The press release states:

"The al Ghawi and al Hanoun cases are part of an ongoing attempt by the two Jewish settler organizations to take over twenty-eight housing units built in 1956 to house refugees and to turn it into a Jewish colony. Israel's measures against the two families constitute blatant violations of international law including the 4th Geneva Convention that obligates the occupying authorities, Israel, to maintain the geographic and demographic characteristics of occupied East Jerusalem.

The Sheikh Jarrah families refuse to comply with the Israeli courts' unjust decisions and appeal to the international community, Human Rights organizations, and the EU to exert pressure on Israel to stop it from pursuing its plan to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem of its Palestinian population. We call on our people and our political factions to rise and support us in our struggle."

Below is a map of East Jerusalem from B'Tselem. East of the Green Line on the map is considered occupied territory and was land intended to become part of a Palestinian state, however, due to Jewish settlement activity in East Jerusalem, this vision of a Palestinian state including East Jerusalem is being compromised (the blue sections on the map indicate settlements).

No comments: