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Palestinians slam global silence over Israeli evictions in Silwan

Palestinians chant slogans outside the court in Jerusalem al-Quds on May 26, 2021 during a protest over Israel's planned eviction of Palestinian families in the eastern sector's Silwan district. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) says it has been dismayed with international inaction toward the imminent forced eviction of 120 Palestinians, mostly children, from their homes in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Silwan, home to about 33,000 Palestinians, is located outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds and its sacred sites. Israeli officials have been moving Jewish extremists to the neighborhood since the 1980s, and currently, several hundred settlers live there in heavily protected settlement compounds.

This has resulted in numerous human rights violations, including the displacement of Palestinian residents. The Silwan properties are claimed by extremists backed by Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing foundation that works to strengthen the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Tel Aviv regime also plans to force out Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in an attempt to replace them with settlers under Israeli court rulings.

“The mass forcible displacement of families of Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah, and other areas, is emblematic of Israel's colonial regime under which, the crimes of apartheid and persecutions are committed. Israel's impunity and criminality are untenable,” the PA’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.

The statement came as the Israeli-run Jerusalem Municipality issued demolition orders to dozens of Palestinian families of the al-Bustan suburb in Silwan. 

Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians gathering outside the Israeli Central Court in East Jerusalem al-Quds during a protest over Israel's planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

“The international community must honor its obligations toward the Palestinian people and mobilize to put an end to Israel's 54 years of colonization, dispossession, and other systematic violations of international law. The State of Palestine also calls on all states to hold settler groups and organizations, including ‘Ateret Cohanim’ and ‘Nahalat Shimon’, and their accomplices accountable for their crimes, including their sustained campaign of forcible displacement and incitement against the Palestinian people,” the statement said.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry also reiterated that the Israeli regime along with its compromised judiciary system had no sovereignty whatsoever over Jerusalem al-Quds.

“The imminent forcible displacement of families of Silwan is both a war crime and a crime against humanity. It is a continuation of Israel's unabated campaign of ethnically cleansing the Palestinian people from their homeland that started in 1947,” the ministry said.

It further emphasized that the United Nations Security Council “has an obligation to uphold its Charter duties, implement its resolutions, and exact consequences on Israel for its grave crimes.”

In conclusion, the Foreign Ministry stressed that the Palestinian inhabitants of Silwan and elsewhere in East Jerusalem al-Quds would remain “resilient.”

The Silwan people “will continue to battle the ills and indignities of Israel's violent, brutal, and racist settler-colonial regime, with the full support of their people and legitimate representatives,” it added.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of 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.

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