Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has warned that it will not remain silent on Israel’s aggression against its people in Sheikh Jarrah and will make it pay dearly for its crimes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood.
“The leadership of the resistance and al-Qassam is keenly following what is happening (in Sheikh Jarrah) and the chief of staff (of al-Qassam Brigades) sends a clear and final warning to the occupation and its settlers that if their aggression against our people in Sheikh Jarrah did not stop immediately, we would not stand idly by with our hands folded,” a spokesman for the Brigades conveyed the warning from al-Qassam chief of staff Mohamed al-Deif in Telegram remarks.
The spokesman also said that the Palestinian resistance spearheaded by al-Qassam Brigades would make “the enemy pay dearly” for its actions in Sheikh Jarrah.
Dozens of Palestinians are facing imminent dispossession from their homes in the occupied east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah
Although, the international law stipulates that the Israeli judicial system has no legal authority over the population it occupies, the Israeli district court in Occupied Jerusalem recently ruled that at least six families must vacate their homes in Sheikh Jarrah on May 2, despite living there for generations.
The same court also ruled that seven other families should leave their homes by August 1. In total, 58 people, including 17 children, are set to be forcibly displaced to make way for Jewish settlers.
According to a recent report published by al-Jazeera satellite channel, these court rulings are “a culmination of a decades-long struggle for these Palestinians to stay in their homes. In 1972, several Jewish settler organizations filed a lawsuit against the Palestinian families living in Sheikh Jarrah, alleging the land originally belonged to Jews.”
“These groups, mostly funded by donors from the United States, have waged a relentless battle that resulted in the displacement of 43 Palestinians in 2002, as well as the Hanoun and Ghawi families in 2008 and the Shamasneh family in 2017,” al-Jazeera explained.
“In 1956, 28 Palestinian refugee families displaced from their homes in the coastal cities of Yafa and Haifa eventually settled in the Karm al-Jaouni area in Sheikh Jarrah.”
“The West Bank, including east Jerusalem, at the time was under the mandate of Jordan, which struck an agreement with the UN agency for refugees (UNRWA) to build housing units for these families. The deal stipulated the families were to renounce their refugee status in return for land deeds signed in their names after three years of living in the area.”
“However, that did not take place and in 1967 Jordan lost its mandate as east Jerusalem was occupied by Israel,” al-Jazeera elaborated.
Al-Jazeera quoted Khalil Tufakji, a Palestinian cartographer and expert on Jerusalem, as saying that he travelled to Ankara in 2010 to search in the Ottoman-era archives for a document that negates any Jewish ownership of Karm al-Jaouni.
“I found the deed and presented it to the Israeli district court, which promptly rejected it,” Tufakji told al-Jazeera.
After more digging, Tufakji found out in 1968 that Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, issued a decree – signed by the finance minister at the time – which stated that Israel was bound to the Jordan-UNRWA agreement.
“This fact is what has been raised to the Jerusalem high court on behalf of the Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah,” he said, but added that there was a little reason to believe the court would rule in favor of them.
“Israeli courts – judge, jury and legislation – are all in the service of the Jewish settlers,” he said.