Family in Sheikh Jarrah ordered to leave their home by 14:00 next Monday, 31 Dec.

07:00 Dec 27 2012 Kubanist Im Haroun area of Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem

an email sent by UN-OSHA Displacement Working Group for Occupied Palestinian Territories (DWG-oPT):

We wanted to inform you about the imminent risk of eviction facing a Palestinian family, the Shamasneh family, in Kubaniat Im Haroun in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. The family has been instructed to leave their home by 14.00 next Monday, 31 December. A well known settler activist, Aryeh King, has publicly announced that he intends to ensure that the family will be evicted and the property handed over to him no later than 1 January. As many of you know, the threat facing the Shamasneh family forms part of broader organized attempts by settler activists to take over land and property in the area with the purpose of establishing new settlements.


The Shamasneh family has lived in a rented home in Sheikh Jarrah for several decades, reportedly since 1964. In 2009, the Israeli General Custodian, who currently administers the property, initiated eviction proceedings against the family. Israeli courts earlier this year and again on 6 December found in favour of the Custodian and ordered the eviction of the family on 31 December.

The threat facing the Shamasneh family is not an isolated case. For several decades, well known settler activists have made organized attempts to acquire land and property in various Palestinian neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem, including Sheikh Jarrah. Several parts of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted for this purpose, including Karm al Jaouni, the Sheperd Hotel and the adjacent Mufti’s grove, and Kubaniyat Im Haroun, where the Shamasneh family lives. According to public statements made by those involved, the aim of these attempts has been to establish new settlements and prevent the division of Jerusalem in any eventual peace agreement.

In Kubaniyat Im Haroun alone, more than 24 families, around 200 people, remain at risk of forced eviction due to such attempts. This includes the Shamasneh family, which has exhausted all legal options and remains at imminent risk. Much of the land in Kubaniyat Im Haroun has been the subject of a protected legal battle between Palestinian and Jewish actors, both of which claim ownership of the land based on pre-1947 documentation. The Israeli High Court, for its part, recognized the Jewish claims – upheld by settler activists - in September 2010. A number of forced eviction proceedings against the Palestinian residents are currently in process before Israeli courts.

On the other side of Nablus road, in the Karm al Jaouni area, more than 300 Palestinians remain at risk of forced eviction to due similar attempts by the same settler activists, which plan to build a 200 unit settlement in the area (according to town plan scheme 12705). Three homes and parts of the fourth have already been taken over and several other eviction proceedings are in process. In November 2008 and August 2009 the Al Kurd (3 people), the Hanoun and Al Ghawi families (a total of 53 people, including 20 children) were forcibly evicted from their homes and the properties handed over to settlers. A few months later, parts of the home of the Rifka al Kurd family was similarly taken over. Attempts to reverse these decisions have proven unsuccessful to date. It is worth noting that all of the families in Karm al Jaouni are registered Palestine refugees, who have land and other property in what is now Israel, but which they have been unable to reclaim.

A number of other areas in Sheikh Jarrah, such as the Sheperd Hotel and adjacent Karm al Mufti, are similarly controlled by the same settler activists and others remain at risk. For more detailed information about the situation in Sheik Jarrah, please see I am also attaching a press release shared with us by actors working on the case.
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