‘All of our lives to fight for peace’: Palestinians reject Sheikh Jarrah deal

Three families, who have been living in contested east Jerusalem neighbourhood, say eviction will not be done in a ‘calm manner’ The residents of Sheikh Jarrah have rejected a proposal by Israel’s supreme court…

'All of our lives to fight for peace': Palestinians reject Sheikh Jarrah deal

Three families, who have been living in contested east Jerusalem neighbourhood, say eviction will not be done in a ‘calm manner’

The residents of Sheikh Jarrah have rejected a proposal by Israel’s supreme court to ease the threat of forced eviction and occupation from their neighbourhood, arguing that it fails to remove the pressure to leave.

The decision by Israel’s highest court was a chance for the families at the centre of a long-running battle to end their “new-era Nakba” of uprooting, leaving behind houses they built long before Israel occupied east Jerusalem in 1967.

The families, Alla Khalaf, Bassem Rajoub and Mayar Warawani, also rejected a vague commitment from the judge to build a social infrastructure in their neighbourhood.

Sheikh Jarrah was the site of mass demolitions against Palestinians in 1967, in the first few weeks of the Israeli occupation.

Residents have faced Israeli authorities and court decisions to demolish the homes and evict the families since 2009. Israeli courts in the past two years have been permitting the families to move to other homes in the city, except when they refused to leave, which is when the Israeli authorities took action against them.

Five houses belonging to the three families are currently being demolished by a court-ordered order. The families say there are at least 10 more homes in Sheikh Jarrah planned for demolition by 2019.

According to the Jerusalem municipal authorities, the families of Sheikh Jarrah refuse to leave their homes and steal property to build in the new construction in the al-Tur neighbourhood of eastern Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has denounced Israel’s actions as attempts to settle and confiscate property to “legalise the occupation of east Jerusalem since 1967”.

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