A Palestinian official in charge of Jerusalem (al-Quds) Affairs slammed eviction orders handed to Sheikh Jarrah’s Arab residents by Israeli courts as based on forged documents.
On Tuesday, eviction warrants were handed down by the settler organization Nahalat Shimon International to two Palestinian families in the disputed Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where settlers have so far forced three Palestinian families out and seized their homes.
"The Israeli High Court of Justice previously accredited forged documents issued by this [Nahalat Shimon International] society and approved its ownership of the lands the homes are built on," Hatem Abdul Qader from Fatah faction told Ma’an news agency.
"The society’s lawyer is sending out circular warrants to residents, ordering them to evacuate their homes," he added, saying all the land ownership documents previously used by the organizations to evict other families in the neighborhood are counterfeit.
The Fatah official noted the Israeli government’s support for the Nahalat Shimon society in its attempt to create a settlement in the area, adding the Dajani and Daoudi families, recently faced with eviction orders, will file a petition at the High Court of Justice to overturn the warrants.
Israeli NGO Ir Amin said in a 2009 report that the settler-related real estate organization Nahalat Shimon plans to demolish the existing residential structures in Sheikh Jarrah and evict hundreds of Palestinian residents in order to clear the way for a new Israeli settlement.
There are 28 Palestinian homes in Sheikh Jarrah offered to Palestinians by UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees and the Jordanian Ministry of Development in 1956, in exchange for their refugee baskets.
Under Jordan’s Enemy Property Law, Amman was to transfer the deeds to the Palestinians provided that the owners did not reclaim the land within three years. But the deeds were never passed on to the current tenants.
Nahalat Shimon, along with a number of other organizations, began filing lawsuits in the 1970s to evict the Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, based on land sale deeds allegedly acquired during the Ottoman rule and the British Mandate.
Ir Amin’s report highlighted Tel Aviv’s support for Israeli settlers in their attempt to "reclaim" plots of land in East al-Quds that were allegedly owned by Jews under British or Ottoman rule.
"These efforts continue throughout East al-Quds, despite Israeli courts’ ongoing refusal to recognize similar claims by Palestinian owners in West al-Quds," Ir Amin wrote.