Al Jazeera : UN says forced expulsion of Palestinians a ‘violation’ of law

Israeli police detain a Palestinian man during protests at the flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem [File: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP]

UN says forced expulsion of Palestinians a ‘violation’ of law

UNRWA representatives say Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood are refugees who have the right to their support.

United Nations representatives have denounced the potential forced expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood as a “violation of international law”.

Speaking from Sheikh Jarrah on Wednesday, UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini said: “This eviction violates international law and Israel’s obligation as an occupying power. For UNRWA, these Palestinian refugees are experiencing a second displacement in living memory.”

He said as head of the UN agency for Palestine refugees it is his job “to protect and assist Palestinian refugees”.

“I have made it our priority to help prevent another cycle of trauma and loss,” Lazzarini added.

Forced dispossession

Sheikh Jarrah has been the site of continuing demonstrations as dozens of Palestinians living there face forced expulsion in a case filed against them by Jewish settler organisations.

Mass protests against their forced dispossession in May quickly spread across historic Palestine and caught the attention of the international media.

An Israeli crackdown on protesters spread to Al-Aqsa Mosque, where Israeli security forces stormed the compound numerous times during the holy month of Ramadan, wounding hundreds of Muslim worshippers.

On May 9, under pressure, the Israeli high court delayed the ruling on the expulsion of four Palestinian families. A new court date will be announced in 30 days, it said. READ MORE