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Palestine slams Israeli judiciary’s ‘racism’ in ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

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)
Palestinian and foreign activists demonstrate against Israeli occupation and settlement activity in the Palestinian territories and East al-Quds on March 19, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has slammed the "racist role" of the Israeli courts in dealing with the Palestinians’ displacement from their homes, saying the regime’s judiciary is complicit in the ethnic cleansing of people in East al-Quds.

The ministry released a statement on Tuesday in reaction to the move by Israel’s so-called Supreme Court to delay a final verdict on the expulsion of four Palestinian families from their homes in the occupied East al-Quds neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, claiming that it has not sufficiently heard arguments from both sides of the case, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.

It added that despite the presentation of documents obtained from Jordan proving the families’ ownership of their homes, the court refrained from recognizing the evidence and accepting the existing facts.

Despite the fact, the court attempted to circumvent the Palestinian families’ right to their homes by pressuring them to recognize the settlers' ownership of the land and houses in return for staying in their homes for a long but limited period of time, the ministry added.

It emphasized that the court used deceit and duplicity to find ways to support the settlers’ allegations and claims of ownership of the Palestinian land and homes.

“The occupation courts play a racist role with regard to the displacement of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood for a political end that does not have legal reference in order to reach one goal and that is to legitimize the settlers' claims of ownership of the land, and to whitewash the forged documents they submitted,” the foreign ministry said.

In all cases in al-Quds, the statement added, the Israeli occupation courts used such clear and repetitive racism, which is “a part of an expansionist colonial strategy based on an attempt to provide legal immunity for the Judaization and Israelization of Jerusalem and its holy places, and the ethnic cleansing of the largest possible number of its indigenous population.”

On Monday, Israel’s so-called Supreme Court suggested a compromise deal stipulating that the Palestinian families would concede ownership of their homes to far-right settler organization Nahalat Shimon, the plaintiff seeking to take over the homes, in exchange for being allowed to remain in their homes as “protected tenants.”

However, no agreement was reached on the suggested deal, which notably required that the families pay rent to Nahalat Shimon.

Elsewhere in its statement, the Foreign Ministry said the Israeli courts’ decisions regarding the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood are condemned as they are further evidence that the Israeli judicial system is an integral part of the occupation and a tool for serving colonial settlement plans.

It commended international support for the Palestinian families’ right to stay in their homes but emphasized that such positions are insufficient and should be translated into practical steps.

The international community’s efforts should urge Israel to immediately recognize the right of the families of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to own their homes without any delay and to stop displacing the Palestinian citizens.

Earlier on Monday, hundreds of people gathered outside Israel’s top court in al-Quds ahead of the decision in order to show support for Palestinian families facing eviction from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Since Israel seized East al-Quds in the 1967 war, Israeli settler organizations have claimed ownership of land in Sheikh Jarrah and have filed multiple lawsuits to evict Palestinians from the area.

Speaking during a weekly cabinet meeting in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called upon the international community to put an end to the Israeli regime’s policies of persecution, racism, and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and Silwan, which are being carried out in order to make way for Israeli settlers.

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