The United Nations has called on the Israeli authorities to stop the eviction of Palestinians from their homes in the occupied West Bank.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said a UN delegation met with a Palestinian family ordered by Israeli authorities to evacuate the home they lived in for 70 years in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
“We are following up closely the situation in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah and the possibility of evicting Palestinians from their homes,” Dujarric said.
“It is very important to de-escalate the tension and maintain self-control and tranquility. We continuously ask the Israeli authorities to put an end to the policy of demolishing Palestinian homes and stop evicting Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and anywhere else in the West Bank.”
The Palestinian family facing eviction, which includes six children and an elderly woman, is one of 218 Palestinian families, comprising 970 individuals, who live in the neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, including Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
The UN spokesperson said “under international humanitarian law, the occupying power is prohibited from forcibly deporting protected persons, regardless of the motive behind such deportation.”
Dujarric called on the Israeli authorities to “adopt the necessary steps to protect civilians, including Palestinian refugees.”
Since Thursday, Israeli forces have closed the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood with iron barriers and dispersed dozens of Palestinians taking part in rallies to protest the setting up of a tent by right-wing Israeli lawmaker Ben Gvir on private Palestinian land in the neighborhood as his office.
Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah have complained of repeated attacks by Israeli settlers, who reside next to them in homes taken from Palestinians over past years.
Last year, tensions ran high in the neighborhood after an Israeli court ordered the eviction of several Palestinian families in favor of Israeli settlers.
* Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara
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