Palestinians ordered to leave Sheikh Jarrah, making way for Jewish settlers

Israel ordered six Palestinian families to leave their homes in Sheikh Jarrah on May 2 to make way for Jewish settlers.

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Masses of Palestinians are facing expatriation from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in what they say is a move to force them out and replace it entirely with a Jewish settlement.

The Jerusalem District Court expressed at least six families must evacuate their homes in Sheikh Jarrah on Sunday, despite living there for generations.

The same court ruled that seven other families should leave their homes by August 1. In total, 58 people, including 17 children, are set to be forcibly displaced to make way for Jewish settlers.

In 1972, several Jewish settler organisations filed a lawsuit against the Palestinian families living in Sheikh Jarrah, alleging the land originally belonged to Jews.

These groups, mostly funded by donors from the United States, have waged a relentless battle that resulted in the displacement of 43 Palestinians in 2002, as well as the Hanoun and Ghawi families in 2008 and the Shamasneh family in 2017.

In 1956, 28 Palestinian refugee families were displaced from their homes in the coastal cities of Yafa and Haifa, eight years prior eventually settling into the Karm al-Jaouni area in Sheikh Jarrah.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, at the time was under the mandate of Jordan, which struck an agreement with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) to build housing units for the families. The deal stipulated the families were to renounce their refugee status in return for land deeds signed in their names after three years of living in the area.

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