JERUSALEM, Monday, March 13, 2023 (WAFA) – A delegation of European diplomats today visited Palestinian families facing imminent forced eviction and/or decisive hearings on eviction cases initiated by Israeli settler groups, placing more than 80 individuals under imminent threat of forced displacement in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and the Old City.
Headed by EU representative in Palestine, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, and comprising some 25 diplomats from Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the delegation visited the Palestinian families at risk of dispossession and forcible eviction and had the opportunity to witness first-hand their suffering, calling on the Israeli occupation authorities to reverse the decisions on the intended evictions.
Among the families that the delegation visited was the Salem family, which received an “eviction” order from their house where they have been living for over 70 years in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
The delegation also visited the Sab-Laban family, whose house is located just a few dozen meters away from Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Burgsdorff voiced his concerns over the current situation in the neighborhood while pointing out that the European Union (EU) was sparing no effort to prevent the implementation of the “eviction” orders in the neighborhood.
He reiterated the EU’s rejection of the policies implemented by the Israeli occupation authorities in Jerusalem in violation of international law.
The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood has become a scene of massive protests against Israel’s settler-colonialism in the occupied territories since the Israeli occupation authorities decided to forcibly expel dozens of families from their houses in favor of colonial settler groups.
Palestinians have maintained that the Israeli occupation authorities' decision to “evict” the families from their houses in favor of the settler groups is politically-motivated and comes as part of Israel’s efforts to ethnically cleanse Jerusalemite Palestinians.
Since the occupation of Jerusalem by Israel in June 1967, Israeli settler colonial organizations, including Elad and Ateret Cohanim, have claimed ownership of Palestinian property in Jerusalem. Backed by the Israeli state, judiciary and security services, these organizations have been working on wresting control of Palestinian property and converting it into colonial outposts as part of the efforts to ensure a Jewish majority in the city, as well as on managing archaeological sites in Silwan and overseeing their excavation. This scheme involves building new colonial tourist sites, such as the “City of David”, to bolster their propaganda.