Palestinian Dispossession in East Jerusalem - by Stephen Lendman
For Jews, Jerusalem is its historic capital. Muslims also claim it for the third holiest site in Islam, containing the 35 acre Noble Sanctuary (al-Haram al-Sharif), including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock.
The 1947 UN Partition Plan designated Jerusalem an international city under a UN Trusteeship Council. After Israel's 1947-48 War of Independence, it was divided between Israel and Jordan, and during Israel's 1967 Six-Day War, East Jerusalem was captured and occupied, its current status today.
In March 2009, a confidential EU report (now public) accused Israel of using settlement expansions, house demolitions, discriminatory housing policies, restrictive permits, closing Palestinian institutions, the West Bank Separation Wall, and various other ways to "actively pursu(e) the illegal annexation" of East Jerusalem and "increase Jewish presence" in the city.
In a December 2009 report, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel affirmed the EU report's concerns. Titled "Dispossession and Eviction in Jerusalem," it provides historical context, a legal overview, and case study examples in Sheikh Jarrah, an East Jerusalem neighborhood between the Old City and Mount Scopus.
The community "has become the site of a protracted legal battle whose implications range from the evictions of more than 25 families to the visibility of a future Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and the" ultimate status of Jerusalem.
Four families have already been evicted from homes they've lived in for over 50 years. The others are awaiting court appearances and rulings to decide their fate, nearly certain given Israel's history of judicial unfairness toward Arabs, including its own citizens having no rights in a nation affording them solely to Jews.
Since the 1970s, Israeli settlers have targeted Sheikh Jarrah, seeking control of property they claim Jews owned before 1948 as a way to increase Jewish residency in "strategically located" parts of East Jerusalem. Specific areas include the Shepherd Hotel compound, the Karm Al-Mufti olive grove, and Karm Al-Ja'ouni, but Sheikh Jarrah in its entirety demonstrates the futility of decades of legal battles and "an inherent legislative bias that renders adherence to international legal standards ineffectual."