“This is broad daylight theft, but it’s something that has been going on for decades.”, Palestinian writer and legal researcher Budour Hassan said in an interview with UK-based media platform Palestine Deep Dive (PDD) during a live show which was also streamed on The Palestine Chronicle Facebook page.
Hassan, who works as a legal researcher at the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), elaborated on the dire situation in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where several Palestinian families, including the Salem family, face imminent forced ethnic displacement.
The discussion, hosted by Mark Seddon, a former journalist with Al Jazeera television and UN correspondent, focused on what is happening on the ground in Sheikh Jarrah.
Hassan explained how Israel uses its internal law to unlawfully displace Palestinian families.
“The absentee property law, which was enacted by Israel in 1951, prohibits internally displaced Palestinian and Palestinian refugees who were uprooted from their land of ever trying to claim back their land,” Hassan said.
“So, a refugee family that was displaced in Jaffa in 1948, can’t come and say, ‘We have a land. We have documents. We have proof that we own this house in Jaffa. Let us go back to our house’,” she added.
Commenting on an Israeli court decision on February 22 to freeze the eviction of the Salem family, Hassan said that “freezing the eviction doesn’t mean canceling it, it only means that they have more time to think about an appropriate option when the time is more right to do it.”
Hassan asserted that Israel’s behavior in East Jerusalem is motivated by demographic objectives, which are part of a much larger Judaization scheme in the occupied Palestinian city.
“Right now Palestinians constitute 38% of the population in Jerusalem. So the objective was to reduce that percentage to less than 30% through the use of several methods, including forcible eviction, forcible displacement, demolitions, refusal to grant building permits,” she said.
(The Palestine Chronicle)