Jerusalem neighborhood resisting Zionist displacement

The families residing in the Karam al-Ja’ouni neighborhood north of the occupied city of Jerusalem continue to resist the policy of the Israeli occupation and its unjust courts, which support settlement associations that are trying to expel them from their land and homes which they have been living in following their displacement from the city of Jaffa in 1948.

Legal resistance that lasted for more than ten years at courts was accompanied by a sit-in and peaceful demonstration, to face the displacement and expulsion; with settlement associations failing to claim ownership of the land on which the houses of Karam al-Ja’ouni were built.

More than 100 Palestinian families live in Karam al-Ja’ouni, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of Jerusalem. They live on an 18-dunum plot of land that includes 29 buildings, which the Israeli occupation is planning to evacuate to build housing units for Jewish settlers as part of the largest uprooting and displacement project in the holy city since 1967.

For two decades, the owners of the houses at Karam al-Ja’ouni fought legal battles at Israeli courts to stop their expulsion, but Israeli courts ended up ruling in favor of the settlement associations after submitting documents claiming ownership of the land.

We are steadfast in our houses

Mohammed al-Sabbagh, the owner of a 5-storey house, lives with his five brothers. He was ordered by the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) to evacuate his house within a specified period of time, and 50 members of his family are under the threat of displacement in the coming days.

In an interview with the Palestinian Information Center, al-Sabbagh expressed his fear that the threats of the occupation authorities and the settlement organizations to evacuate his house will make them experience what happened in 2008-2009 again, when the IOA made several families from the neighborhood homeless.

We continue resisting Israeli decisions and rejecting Israeli settlements, he said. These are our rights and we will not relinquish them. We call for intensifying local and Arab solidarity with us to stand up to the Israeli decisions, he noted.

As for Um Mohammed al-Sabbagh, and her five children, who live in the same house, they feel worried as implementation of Israeli threats is approaching. They asserted their inability to leave the house or secure another one, either by rent or purchase.

The elderly mother, who suffers from several diseases, including diabetes, has lived with her children in the house for decades, dreaming of the right to return to the village they were forced to leave in 1948. She says: If the occupation authorities want to expel us from here, (Sheikh Jarrah), we have 250 dunums back in Jaffa.

Fake documents

On the details of the case, lawyer Husni Abu Hussein, the head of the defense team for Karam al-Ja’ouni neighborhood in Jerusalem and the lawyer of al-Sabbagh family, said that he has papers and documents confirming the nullity of the claims of the settlement associations in their ownership of land and houses in Karam al-Ja’ouni neighborhood.

In an interview with the Palestinian Information Center, Abu Hussein said that the papers owned by the Eastern Jews and West Bank settlement associations were forged and incorrect. The papers are completely false and are not related to their homes or the lands of the neighborhood, Abu Hussein said.

He added: The papers they have belong to a land in the village of Lifta, located to the west of the city of Jerusalem, asserting that the settlement associations deceived and lied to the land registrar in 1972.

He revealed that the decision of the Action and Implementation Unit at the Israeli court to evacuate the house where al-Sabbagh family lives, by the twenty-third of this month has been frozen till the 16th of February.

At this point, there is no decision to evacuate al-Sabbagh or any other family, but there are about 10 cases in the Israeli Magistrate’s Court which might face possible eviction, he said.

Source: Palestine Info Center