GENEVA – The Geneva Council of Rights and Justice condemned today the act expulsion of a Palestinian family from their home that is situated in occupied Jerusalem by the Israeli authorities which were in favour of Israeli settlers last Sunday.
The Geneva Council stated that the seven members of Abu Asab family had been living in the house since 1960, despite being expelled from their original home in another neighbourhood in Jerusalem in 1948.
According to the Israeli law which enables the Jews to return to properties in occupied East Jerusalem and following a judicial appeal made on behalf of a settler Jewish family that allegedly claimed to own the house prior to 1948, the settlers were able to return to the house, according to the Israeli authorities.
Israeli law does not recognize the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and properties, which they were expelled from or forced to evacuate in 1948. At the same time, the international community does not recognize Israel’s annexation of occupied East Jerusalem.
The Geneva Council said that the fate of the Abu Asab family which culminated by expulsion and displacement threatens more than 70 families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and some 700 people in the Silwan neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, are all threatened with eviction from their homes because they allegedly belong to Jews prior to 1948.
Israel continues to adopt an inherently discriminatory system that treated Palestinians in an unjust manner, with its occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as the Gaza Strip, over 50 years, linked to systematic human rights violations, such as collective punishment and the continuous use of excessive and lethal force.
Israel was building and supporting illegal settlements in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, confiscating Palestinian land and imposing burdens on Palestinians while excluding the Jewish settler from such policies, and limiting the access of Palestinians to basic services and imposing laws that render building on much of their land impossible without risking demolition and eviction.
The Geneva Institute stressed that international humanitarian law prohibits the occupying power from transferring its civilians to the occupied territories, in which Israel continues to provide security, administrative services, housing, education and medical care to more than 628,000 settlers living in illegal settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The Prosecutor of the Office of the International Criminal Court is conducting a preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine in order to determine whether the criteria have been met for a formal investigation. In May 2018, the Palestinian Authority formally referred the situation in Palestine to the Prosecutor of the Court.
In this regard, the Geneva Council called on the International Criminal Court to accelerate its steps to achieve justice for the Palestinians and to stop Israel’s violations against them, including house demolitions and the expulsion of families as a violation of international humanitarian law prohibiting collective punishment.