Israel’s Jerusalem District Court ordered yesterday the eviction of 87 Palestinians from the Batan al-Hawa area in Silwan neighbourhood, located in East Jerusalem, in favour of the Israeli settler group Ateret Cohanim.
Ateret Cohanim used the pretext that Batan al-Hawa area was owned by Yemeni Jews during the Ottoman period until 1938 when the British Mandate moved them due to political tensions.
The group had sued the Palestinian residents, aiming to expand the presence of settlers inside Palestinian neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem.
Moreover, it is planning to set up a heritage centre for Yemenite Jewry on the site, at an estimated cost of 4 million shekels ($1.2m).
Hagit Ofran, activist and director of the Peace Now organization, expressed real concern that the settlers will implement the eviction order against the Palestinian families, who have lived in the area for decades, in the coming days before the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden on 20 January 2021.
Peace Now underscored that the Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is racing against time to ratify the construction of thousands of settlement units in Jerusalem and West Bank during this period.
In this vein, Likud MK Nir Barkat has put a plan to tighten the grip on Palestinian lands in terms of expanding the construction of settlements and industrial zones in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
Source : Safa