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الموقع تحت الإنشاء

النسخة التجريبية من موقع النهضة العربية (أرض)

Sheikh Jarrah statement The Latest on Palestine: Experts speak out


By Dr. Lex Takkenberg, international lawyer and senior advisor on the Question of Palestine, ARDD

As so many others, I have been following with grave concern the developments in Jerusalem over the past days and weeks, and once again today in an around the Al Aqsa mosque.

As we watch Israeli police and military confront fearless unarmed Palestinian youth protesting their ever-shrinking space in East Jerusalem, we should remember that today’s “Jerusalem Day March” through the Muslim quarter of the Old City is to commemorate and celebrate Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, which, along with the rest of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, happened in flagrant violation of international law. Coinciding with the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the ongoing tensions over the threat of evictions from Sheikh Jarrah, this is clearly perceived as an act of provocation.


With respect to the Sheikh Jarrah evictions, the Palestinians in question are refugees from the 1948 war as well as their descendants, who were housed in this East Jerusalem neighborhood in the 1950s by the United Nations on land made available by the Jordanian authorities, and who are now confronted by evictions to make space for Israeli settlers, once again in flagrant violation of international law.

The ongoing demonstrations and the threat of evictions take place against the backdrop of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948, which Palestinians around the world are about to commemorate in a couple of days. The 1948 forced displacement constituted the beginning of a deliberate Israeli policy to maximize its hold over historic Palestine whilst uprooting, systematically dominating and dehumanizing the non-Jewish population of the land. As also recently recognized by leading Israeli and global human rights organizations, this policy has all the hallmarks of the crime of apartheid and as such constitutes war crimes and crimes against humanity. Sheikh Jarrah is yet another manifestation of this. What has been going on affects both Palestinians within Israel as well as those in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

As we express solidarity with the Palestinians in Jerusalem, what we need now is for the Israeli police and military to immediately stop the violence, and for Israel and the international community to put regard for international law where it belongs: in the centre rather than in the margins of power politics.