Last March, a judicial court of the brutal occupying ‘Zionist’ entity, ordered 6 Palestinian families to leave their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem on the 2nd May 2021 to make way for Jewish settlers, mostly from private US-funded settler organisations. These families now face imminent forced eviction from their homes where they have lived for over six decades. The same court ruled that seven other Palestinian families in the neighbourhood should leave their homes by August 1st, to be replaced by a Jewish settlement. In total, 58 people, including 17 children are set to be forcibly displaced. However, there are 38 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah who live under the threat of eviction. Families who face eviction have even been ordered by the court to pay 70,000 shekels ($20,000) in fees to cover the settlers’ legal expenses. On Sunday 2nd May, the Jewish entity’s Supreme Court postponed its ruling regarding the families threatened with displacement from their homes, giving the families until Thursday to reach an “agreement” with the settlers, aimed at humiliating the Palestinian residents of the neighbourhood further. This ludicrous deal requires the Sheikh Jarrah families to pay the settlers rent and recognise them as the landlords of their own homes, hence accepting that those who have stolen their property have ownership of their land. A recent video circulating on social media shows a Palestinian woman confronting a Jewish settler for stealing her home. With sheer arrogance, the settler replies to her: “If I don’t steal your home, someone else will steal it.” On Monday 3rd May, dozens of ‘Zionist’ forces stormed the neighbourhood and assaulted the Palestinian residents by beating and shooting tear gas and sound bullets, injuring 20 people. They also arrested a number of the residents, including a Palestinian girl. It is a familiar tactic employed by the occupying entity to terrorise Palestinians into leaving their homes. Many have described recent events as the continuation of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the Blessed Land that began with the Nakba in 1948.
Sheikh Jarrah is home to around 3,000 Palestinians, whose families were made refugees when they were displaced from their homes in the cities of Yafa and Haifa by the illegal occupying entity during the 1948 Nakba. These refugee families relocated to Sheikh Jarrah in 1956 after an agreement between the United Nations and Jordan (who had a mandate over the eastern part of Jerusalem at the time) which stipulated that they would receive housing in the neighbourhood in return for renouncing their refugee status with the UN refugee agency – effectively bribing them into accepting the illegal Jewish land-grab of their previous homes and relinquishing their right of ownership of their land. The agreement stated that after three years, the Jordanian government would transfer ownership titles of their new homes in Sheikh Jarrah to the families. This was a promise that unsurprisingly never transpired and by 1967, the ‘Zionist’ entity had expanded its occupation over the eastern part of Jerusalem. Hence, these Palestinian families now face the prospect of being made homeless twice due to this brutal occupation.
Sheikh Jarrah is just one example of the forced displacement of the people of Palestine in neighbourhoods in Jerusalem that has intensified during this global pandemic. According to Zakariya Odeh, Coordinator for the Civil Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, the al-Bustan area in Silwan, south of Jerusalem, has 119 families in 88 buildings that are under threat of demolishment to make way for an ‘Israeli’ archaeological park; in Wadi Yasul, 84 homes are also under threat of demolishment to make way for expansion of an ‘Israeli’ national park; and in Batan al-Hawa, 700 people face the prospect of forcible displacement to allow the Ateret Cohanim settler group to live there. Odeh also states that last year was the highest rate of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem on record, with about 4,500 units built. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 689 structures have been demolished across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2020 alone, more than in any full year since 2016, leaving 869 Palestinians homeless. The organisation also reported that there was a nearly fourfold increase in the number of people displaced from January to August 2020, and a 55% increase in structures targeted with demolitions or confiscations compared with a year earlier.
This criminal land-grab policy is of course part of the Jewish entity’s ‘Greater Jerusalem Plan’ to consolidate and expand its control over the city, which includes changing its demographic composition with Jews comprising an overwhelming majority of 70% or more, as described by many political commentators on the region. This policy aimed at the ‘Judisation’ of Al-Quds and annihilating the presence of Palestinians from this sacred city continues unabated and unopposed by the current powers and states of the world. In fact, today, the regimes of the Muslim lands have strengthened the hand of the criminal occupation through their open normalisation of their relationship with this apartheid, thieving entity. Today, the Muslim Ummah is ruled by the Ruwaibidah rulers, the lying, traitorous and spineless rulers who have conspired with the terrorist Jewish entity in its crimes against the Muslims and this Deen, and served as its frontline protectors through their agreements and policies. They have abandoned Al-Aqsa, Al-Quds, and the honourable Muslims of Palestine. Instead of directing their armies to liberate this Blessed Land from the clutches of its evil occupiers, these Ruwaibidah rulers – choose instead to direct their bombs and bullets against their own Muslim brothers and sisters – as in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or elsewhere – on the behest of their Western masters.
This Ummah is in desperate need of the Islamic leadership of the Khilafah based upon the method of the Prophethood – the guardian, shield and protector of Islam and the Muslims – which will mobilise its army, underneath the leadership of a modern-day Salahuddin Ayubi, to uproot this terrorizing Jewish entity and liberate not just Palestine but all our Muslim lands from their occupiers and tyrant rulers. We pray that the time will not be long Insha Allah before we witness the birth of this glorious state which will generate great victories for the Ummah once again, with Al-Quds as its capital. The Prophet (saw) said, «إِنَّمَا الْإِمَامُ جُنَّةٌ يُقَاتَلُ مِنْ وَرَائِهِ وَيُتَّقَى بِهِ» “Verily the Imam (Khaleefah) is a shield from behind whom you fight and by whom you are protected.”
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Director of the Women’s Section in the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir