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After strong protests, Israeli court postpones hearing on eviction of Palestinians

Israeli forces arrest a protester during a demonstration by Palestinians against a possible eviction of local Palestinian families as part of an ongoing effort by Israeli settlers to take control of homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, on May 8, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Following days of strong protests by Palestinian people both in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip against a decision by Israel to evict Palestinians from their homes in a Jerusalem al-Quds neighborhood to make way for the construction of a new illegal settlement, an Israeli court has decided to postpone a hearing on the decision by 30 days.

Israel's justice ministry said in a statement on Sunday it would delay a key Monday hearing in the case that could see Palestinian families evicted from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds to make way for Israeli settlers.

"In all the circumstances and in light of the attorney general's request, the regular hearing for tomorrow, May 10, 2021 (is) cancelled," it said, adding that it would schedule a new hearing within 30 days.

The latest development comes as many Palestinians were wounded in clashes in Sheikh Jarrah, after Israeli forces and settlers tried to force the Palestinians to abandon their residences in the area.

The regime had earlier issued them warnings that they had to evacuate their homes.

Israeli forces have been demolishing Palestinian homes and structures in the neighborhood for the construction of a new settlement outpost in the area under an Israeli court ruling.

Based on an Israeli court ruling, some 28 Palestinian families face the threat of forceful eviction from the neighborhood.

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.

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

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has already warned Israel against harming the inhabitants of Sheikh Jarrah, urging Palestinians to intensify their presence in the streets of the neighborhood to prevent the implementation of “Zionist schemes.”

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

Meanwhile, the lawyer of Palestinian families living in Sheikh Jarrah has accused the Israeli settlers of fraud, after the district court in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds ruled in favor of the settlers who laid claim to land in the neighborhood earlier this year.

"The registration of the lands in the name of the settlement association took place through fraud and deception, in collusion with the commissioner of public properties and the registrar of Israeli lands," Hosni Abu Hussein told AFP.

The dispute in Sheikh Jarrah has also added fuel to tensions around the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and elsewhere in the holy occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds, where the Israeli regime is carrying out brutal attacks against the Palestinians.  

Since the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the Israeli forces and illegal settlers have been roaming the city, chanting anti-Palestinian slogans and trying to prevent Palestinians from gathering and performing their religious duties.

Early in the month, the Israeli regime also shut down Bab al-Amoud (Damascus Gate) of the al-Quds' Old City, further enraging Palestinians.

The provocations took a dangerous turn after the forces attacked Palestinian homes in Sheikh Jarrah.

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.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians view the eastern sector of the occupied city as the capital of their future state.

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