Israel evicts Palestinian families
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Israeli security forces have forcibily evicted two Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem after a court rejected an appeal against their eviction.
The eviction comes amid international calls for Israel to halt settlement activity on occupied Palestinian land.
A large police force was involved in the operation in Sheikh Jarrah, one of the most sensitive and upmarket Arab neighbourhoods closest to the so-called Green Line which separates east and west Jerusalem.
Sherine Tadros, Al Jazeera's correspondent in East Jerusalem, said: "According to the Hanoun family, the members that I have spoken to, at about 6am as they were sleeping inside the house, Israeli police officers broke in and we can see the shattered glass all over the floor outside.
'Blatant violation of law'
Maher Hanoun, one of 53 family members of the two families affected by the court decision said in a statement: "The al Ghawi and al Hanoun cases are part of an ongoing attempt by the two Jewish settler organisations to take over 28 housing units built in 1956 to house refugees and to turn it into a Jewish colony.
Hanoun appealed to the "international community, human rights organisations, and the EU to exert pressure on Israel to stop it from pursuing its plan to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem of its Palestinian population".
Settlements have emerged as a major sticking point in relations between Israel and the administration of Barack Obama, the US president.
Although Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, recently yielded to US pressure to conditionally endorse the establishment of a Palestinian state, he has consistently resisted US demands for a total freeze on settlement expansion.
Israel annexed East Jerusalem and declared the whole city its capital after the 1967 Six Day War,a move not recognised by the international community.
Israel had set an August 1 deadline to expel illegal migrantsand their children, even those who grew up in the country, triggering an outcry among human rights groups.
According to the interior ministry, some 300,000 illegal aliens - including 100,000 migrants, tourists who overstayed their visitand Palestinians - live in Israel which is home to seven millioninhabitants.
But human rights groups have said that these figures are inflated.
Scource: Al Jazeera and Agencies
Sunday, August 2, 2009 at 11:58PM