East Jerusalem evictions condemned

Israel criticised over expulsion of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem homes.

    The court decision has defied international protests over Jewish settlement activity in the area [AFP]

    'Extremist agenda'

    The British consulate which, along with other foreign missions, is located in Sheikh Jarrah where the Palestinian families had been living for more than half-a-century, said it was "appalled".

    In depth

     Video: Palestinians evicted
     Standoff over settlement
     Holy Land Grab
     Israel: Rise of the right
     Q&A: Jewish settlements
     Riz Khan: The battle over Israeli settlements
     Inside Story: US and Israel poles apart

    The consulate said in a statement: "The Israelis' claim that the imposition of extremist Jewish settlers into this ancient Arab neighbourhood is a matter for the courts ... is unacceptable.

    "These actions are incompatible with the Israeli professed desire for peace.

    "We urge Israel not to allow the extremists to set the agenda."

    Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian negotiator, said: "Tonight, while these new settlers from abroad will be accommodating themselves and their belongings in these Palestinian houses, 19 newly homeless children will have nowhere to sleep.

    "If the Israeli prime minister continues with settlement activities, he will undermine the efforts to revive the peace process."

    'Civil dispute'

    But Yakir Segev, a member of Jerusalem's municipal council, told Al Jazeera: "These are not actions made by Israel or the Israeli government. This is a matter of the court.

    "It is a civil dispute between Palestinian families and those of Israeli settlers, regarding who is the rightful owner of this property ... Israeli law is the only law we are obliged to obey.

    "This is not part of an Israeli consipiracy ...  The court decided that the Arab families are not the rightful owners of the property and this is why they had to be evicted.

    "Jerusalem is one united city, in the same way that Arabs can purchase houses and land in the west part of Jerusalem, it's the same for Jews."

    The eviction on Sunday comes amid international calls for Israel to halt settlement activity on occupied Palestinian land.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    Ninety-nine years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.

    Mom takes kids to vandalize mosque in Tempe

    Mom takes kids to vandalize mosque in Tempe

    She recorded it live on Facebook.