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Israel orders evacuation of 3 Palestinian-owned properties in East Jerusalem

May 17, 2016 7:06 P.M. (Updated: May 18, 2016 10:08 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Jerusalem Magistrate Court of Justice on Tuesday ordered the evacuation of three Palestinian-owned properties in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, claiming they were owned by Jews before 1948.

The three properties were allegedly purchased by the Jewish Arica family who migrated from Syria to Israel in the 1930s, and fled from their properties in 1948 during the Arab-Israeli war, according to Israel’s Channel 7 News.

Following the 1948 war, when some 750,000 Palestinians became refugees, the three houses fell under Palestinian ownership.

The eviction in Sheikh Jarrah is being led by Aryeh King, the head of the right-wing settler organization Israel Land Fund (ILF), which is responsible for evicting and leaving several Palestinian families homeless in East Jerusalem.

The ILF is considered a nonprofit organization -- and receives US tax-deductible donations through their financial intermediary Central Fund for Israel -- with a mission to transfer property from Palestinians into the hands of Jewish settlers for the purpose of "Judaizing" East Jerusalem.

They also work to prevent Palestinians from buying property by raising funds through their organization to present counter financial offers in an attempt to deter residents in East Jerusalem from selling property to Palestinians, according to the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ).

The ILF, along with other pro-settler organizations, uses Israel’s 1970 Legal and Administrative Matters law to evict Palestinians from their homes. According to the law, Jewish individuals are allowed to claim ownership of property if they can prove the property was under Jewish ownership before 1948.

However, the law only applies to Jews and does not apply to Palestinians who were dispossessed of their lands and properties during and after the establishment of Israel in 1948, despite their right being upheld in international law in UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

There are now more than 300,000 Jewish settlers residing in East Jerusalem in contravention to international law.

According to ARIJ, Sheikh Jarrah is one of occupied East Jerusalem’s neighborhoods most vulnerable to land confiscations due to its close proximity to the Old City, the illegal Israeli settlements of Ramat Eshkol and Givat Shappira, and the Hebrew University.
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