JERUSALEM, Monday, January 17, 2022 (WAFA) - The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) today called on the Israeli authorities to immediately halt the forceful expulsion of the Palestinian Salhia family from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem currently taking place.
“The international community has made clear that Israeli authorities should stop evictions and demolitions in East Jerusalem. International law clearly prohibits the forcible displacement and transfer of protected persons in occupied territory regardless of motive,” said Caroline Ort, NRC’s Country Director for Palestine.
“Five children face being left out on the street with their family in near-zero temperatures. They will have nowhere to sleep tonight. 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,” added Ort.
The Salhia family are refugees from 1948 when they were prevented from returning to their home in what is now the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Ein Kerem. The household consists of seven members, including five children.
Israeli authorities demolished 902 structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2021, an escalation that has seen the number of demolitions increasing every year since 2017.
Dozens of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah who are refugees from the western half of the city are facing eviction at the behest of settler groups trying to gain a foothold in Palestinian neighborhoods with the support of Israeli police and planning authorities.
According to a 2020 survey by the UN Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs, at least 218 families in East Jerusalem are at risk of forcible displacement, including over 400 children.