By Staff Writer
Israel in October announced around 3000 new settlements, the first significant settlement announcement since Biden took office in 2021. The move was condemned by the UK, Sweden, and most of the international community, including the US, since settlements are illegal under international law and because they further hamper the formation of a contiguous Palestinian state.
Meanwhile, in October, in Sheikh Jarrah, an Israeli court also ruled that Palestinians’ homes inhabited since the 1950s belonged to settler agencies. Families would be provided special tenant status and pay around 1500 shekels annually to rent their own homes.
The families have since united, refusing to abide by this, and have appealed the decision, even though the court is staffed by Israeli Judges and will likely rule against them again.
Speaking to Radio Islam International, Muadh al-Khatib, a Palestinian activist, cautioned that this was not only occurring in Sheikh Jarrah but also in other places in East Jerusalem. He argued that Palestinian homes were continually demolished daily, as Tel Aviv seeks to judaise East Jerusalem and the old city around the Al Aqsa Masjid. Al-Khatib also claimed that in many instances, Palestinians are forced to demolish their own homes, fearing that these will be destroyed by settlers and Israeli bulldozers, with them being even charged for these demolishments.
Al-Khatib also stated that the families in Sheikh Jarrah reject the decision to become tenants. This would impact them and become a precedent for other families in other areas that Israel is trying to judaise.
Significantly these conditions are horrendous, with many Palestinians being forced to flee as some cannot constantly live with their land and livelihoods being threatened.
Al-Khatib also argued that taking the legal route will likely not work and that external pressure is the only real means of forcing Israel to stop,” it’s hopeless to work within [the Israeli] legal system because it’s the same apartheid system. Very Israeli legal system which is apartheid… we hope that it [pressure] comes from outside.”
Around 700 thousand Israelis are currently illegal live-in settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, with Palestinians facing difficulties in building their own homes. These have likely ended the idea of a 2-state solution and are illegal under international law. The new Bennett government has continued the policies of Netanyahu, indicating that all sides within Israel seek the further entrenchment of apartheid and colonisation within Palestine.
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