500 signatures reached
To: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney
Hands off Sheikh Jarrah
Calling on Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, to take action against forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah
Why is this important?
We need your help urgently to stop illegal evictions in Sheikh Jarrah. Please help Mohammad Sabbagh and other residents to keep their home in East Jerusalem.
Mohammad is just one Sheikh Jarrah resident who faces becoming a refugee for the second time.
Mohammad and his family were originally made refugees in 1948 during what Palestinians call the 'Nakba', meaning catastrophe, which saw between 750,000 and 1,000,000 Palestinians driven from their land in what Israel calls its War of Independence.
The Sabbagh family fled from Jaffa and were awarded a home in then Jordanian controlled East Jerusalem in 1956 when the UN built 26 houses for 30 Palestinian families who had fled from Jaffa, Haifa and West Jerusalem. In 1967 Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem and has since made every effort to remove the Palestinian population and cut the city off from the rest of the West Bank.
Mohammad is now in his 70's and faces becoming a refugee for the second time in his life. Since 2008 he and his family have been battling a settler group in court over ownership of their property. The Israeli courts have unsurprisingly ruled in favour of the illegal settlers, and 45 members of the family are now facing forced eviction from their homes.
In the last week Mohammad was issued with an eviction notice to vacate his home before November 24th. His lawyer has lodged a successful appeal which has moved the case to a higher court. But the threat of eviction remains high for Mohammad and other residents of Sheikh Jarrah.
Why Sheikh Jarrah?
Sheikh Jarrah has come under mounting pressure from the Israeli government in recent years. The East Jerusalem neighbourhood is a key target for settler activity due to its location. Sheikh Jarrah is located in close proximity to the Green Line (1949 Armistice Line). Sheikh Jarrah has been at the forefront of Israeli efforts to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Jerusalem.
What does international law say?
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs the 1967 occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem is not recognized by the international community, “with the UN Security Council repeatedly declaring all legislative measures and actions taken by Israel to alter the character and status of Jerusalem to be null and void.” Furthermore This eviction amounts to forcible transfer, which is in direct contravention of the fourth Geneva Convention. Article 49, first paragraph, of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”
We therefore demand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney take urgent action on this matter and call for an immediate halt to the forced displacement of Mohammad Sabbagh, his family, and community. Please take a moment to sign and share this petition.