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UN voices concern over imminent eviction of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A woman reacts as Israeli forces demolish the house of Palestinian Mohammed Cabha, in the West Bank village of Tura al-Gharbiya near Jenin, on February 10, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations has expressed concern over the imminent eviction of dozens of Palestinians by Israeli authorities from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

In a statement on Thursday, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said the world body is concerned by the eviction of desperate Palestinian families under an Israeli court ruling.

“I urge Israel to cease demolitions and evictions, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law,” the UN official said, Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported.

Israeli forces have been demolishing Palestinian homes and structures in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood for the construction of a new settlement outpost.

Some 28 Palestinian families face the threat of forceful eviction from the neighborhood.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has already warned Israel against the move. 

In a statement on Sunday, Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, held the Israeli regime responsible for harming the inhabitants of Sheikh Jarrah.

On Tuesday, the military wing of Hamas said Israel would “pay a heavy price” if it did not stop aggression against the Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah.

Wennesland said he was also deeply concerned by a surge in tensions in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.

He noted that in the past few days alone a Palestinian woman and a child have been shot dead by Israeli soldiers in separate incidents.

“If unaddressed, the situation could spiral out of control,” Wennesland warned.

Israeli court postpones evictions 

On Thursday, the Israeli supreme court postponed its ruling on the eviction of the Palestinian families until May 10, when another hearing would be held, Wafa reported.

Sami Irsheid, the lawyer of the families threatened with eviction in the neighborhood, said in a press conference that the court had decided to hold a session on Monday in a bid to hear the appeal request submitted by the families of Sheikh Jarrah.

Several protest rallies have already been held across the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds this week to condemn the court ruling.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday to investigate the forced relocation of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah.

In a letter sent to the chief prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, the ministry urged the prominent lawyer to include the issue at hand in the court’s investigation into Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians.

The ICC opened the formal investigation in March.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza but has been occupying the other territories since.

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