Palestinians hope to stop Easter day evictions in Jerusalem – by Jeff Wright, Mondoweiss

Around 16 families and a total of 195 Palestinians, (including 70 children), are threatened to be evicted from their homes in two occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods, Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.  Michael Lynk, a UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, called for the displacement orders to be reversed, and said: “These evictions are extremely alarming, and appear to be part of a broader pattern of forcing Jerusalemite Palestinian families from their homes to clear the way for more illegal Israeli settlements.”

Forced displacements in Jerusalem occur under the 1970 Legal and Administrative Matters Law, which givesJewish Israelis the right to reclaim East Jerusalem properties allegedly owned before 1948. But Palestinians whose property was seized by the state do not have the same legal entitlement.  The eviction proceedings were held in absentia. The court eventually ruled in favor of Nahalat Shimon, a private settler company registered in the United States, and Ateret Cohanim, an Israeli Jewish organization that works to create a Jewish majority in East Jerusalem, including the Old City. The evictions are currently scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 2, which coincides with the Greek Orthodox celebration of Easter. Palestinian Christians and their supporters have urged Pope Francis and the World Council of Churches to intervene.

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