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European consuls: Israel deepens hold on East Jerusalem

Security officials and European diplomats all warn of the volatile situation in Jerusalem, where the government continues its occupation policy and discrimination of Palestinian residents in contradiction with international law.
Palestinian worshippers walk past the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Ammar Awad(JERUSALEM - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY) - RTR4LPDM

In the heart of the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem lies the home of the Sub Laban family. From the doorway one can see the golden dome of Al-Aqsa Mosque, bright and shiny, almost within touching distance. Yet the family members are shuttered inside. They’re afraid police forces and judicial emissaries could show up any minute and forcibly remove them from the place they have lived since the early 1950s. After 35 years of legal battles, an Israeli court ruled that the family has lost its rights and no longer qualifies as a protected tenant. After they’re evicted, the key will be handed over to representatives of the Ateret Cohanim settler organization, marking another achievement in its bid to Judaize East Jerusalem.

The Shamasneh family of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is also living on borrowed time. Here, too, the law regulating the trusteeship of property owned by absentee landlords, which allows claims for property owned by Jews before 1948, serves the political aims of the settlers’ organization. The discriminatory Israeli law, which allows Jews to claim the property they were forced to leave in 1948 but bans Arabs from doing so, faithfully serves those wishing to display sovereignty over all parts of the holy city (and country). If the eviction is carried out, it will be the first time since the start of the protest in Sheikh Jarrah five years ago, which generated international interest and resonated abroad, that a Palestinian family will be forced to leave its home for the benefit of Jewish settlers.

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