Settlers Take over Palestinian Home Hours after They Are Evicted

Illegal settlers can claim ownership of East Jerusalem properties based on the 'premise' that they were owned by Jews before 1948. (Photo: via Ma'an)

A Palestinian family was evicted from their home of 53 years in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah early Tuesday morning, culminating a protracted legal battle by which Israeli authorities claim the property belongs to Israeli settlers.

The displacement of the Shamasna family marked the first time since 2009 that a Palestinian family was evicted from Sheikh Jarrah, when a wave of Israeli settler ownership claims targeted the neighborhood based on a law that allows Jewish Israelis to take control of property believed to have been owned by Jews before 1948.

Members of the Shamasna family told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli police officers, special units, and intelligence officers stormed the house and forcibly evacuated the family before they started to move their furniture and belongings into a truck.

The family highlighted that Israeli forces closed all streets and entrances to the area and prevented reporters and neighbors from accessing the building.

Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now reported later Tuesday morning that the settlers were already inside the house, while the Shamasna  family looked on from outside. A reporter from Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post said on Twitter that three teenagers had occupied the building.

Owner of the house Ayyub Shamasna said that an Israeli magistrate’s court, district court, and the supreme court have all ruled that the house was a Jewish property.

Back in 2009, the Um Kamel al-Kurd, Ghawi, and Hanoun families were evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah by Israeli settlers under similar ownership claims. Israeli settlers also partially took over the home of the al-Kurd family, where they have continued to reside side-by-side with the family.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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