Write Canadian government: #SaveSheikhJarrah - protect Palestinian families and stop Israeli ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem!

Israeli bulldozers demolish Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. (Photo: Tali Mayer, via Activestills.org)

Take 1 minute to write to the Canadian members of parliament, and Canadian Ambassador to the UN Bob Rae

UPDATED: May 7, 2021

2K+ letters sent in less than 24 hours!

Canadian government statement, May 7, is pathetic suggesting that it is about two conflicting parties!

Letter updated to reflect that this statement does not reflect what was asked for in E-3031 sponsored by MP Erskine-Smith.

UPDATED: May 6, 2021.

Send or send a 2nd letter!

A response is requested of the Canadian government urgently!

Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith presented Parliamentary Petition 3031 on April 29. The people of Sheikh Jarrah need a response from the Canadian government now.

The presentation:

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition, e-petition 3031, that I would like to present.

It is signed by almost 1,400 residents who note that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are unlawful under international law, that Israeli occupation authorities have issued a decision to forcibly evict hundreds of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem and that forces have demolished many Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem since the beginning of this year.

They call upon the Government of Canada to call on Israel to stop its eviction of the Palestinian families in Sheik Jarrah and its carrying out of the announced land settlement of title and registration policy in occupied East Jerusalem, which will result in the permanent appropriation of Palestinian land by the State of Israel.

Let Minister Garneau along with all federal MPs know that you are concerned and call on the government of Canada to insist Israel stop its eviction of the Palestinian families in Sheik Jarrah, and its carrying out of the announced land settlement of title and registration policy in occupied East Jerusalem which will result in the permanent appropriation of Palestinian land by the State of Israel in flagrant violation of international law.

Tell the Canadian government it is time to take diplomatic and economic steps to stop Israel’s violations of international law. This includes Israel's continued building of settlements and forced displacement in the West Bank including occupied Jerusalem, as well as Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Palestinian Jerusalemite families are facing imminent forced eviction from their homes by illegal Israeli settlers, backed by the Israeli state. The attack on Sheikh Jarrah is part and parcel of the ongoing and systematic ethnic cleansing targeting Palestinians in Jerusalem and is part of the ongoing Nakba.

Four Palestinian families have been ordered by an Israeli district court to leave their homes by May 2 or face forced eviction, while three more families have been ordered evicted by August. The May 2 evictions are now planned for after Ramadan.

Palestinian and Regional Joint Urgent Appeal to UN Special Procedures on Forced Evictions in East Jerusalem

On 10 March 2021, the Palestinian Human Rights Organization Council, compromising of 11 Palestinian human rights organisations sent a joint urgent appeal to the United Nations (UN) Special Procedures on forced evictions in East Jerusalem. Addressing six UN Special Rapporteurs, including the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, the organisations highlight forced evictions as part of Israel’s coercive environment in East Jerusalem, through which it maintains its institutionalised regime of racial domination and oppression over the Palestinian people.

The appeal highlights how 15 Jerusalemite families totalling 37 households of around 195 Palestinians, residing in Karm Al-Ja’ouni area in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and Batn Al-Hawa neighbourhood in Silwan, are currently at imminent risk of forced eviction. Unlawfully applying Israeli domestic law to occupied territory, Israeli courts have ruled in favour of lawsuits undertaken by settler organisations to evict the 15 Palestinian families.

Acknowledging that most of the families living in Karm Al-Ja’ouni area and Batn Al-Hawa neighbourhood are refugees, the joint appeal outlines how Israel has ensured the maintenance of its apartheid regime over the Palestinian people through its policies and practices, such as the strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people, including by denying Palestinian refugees and other persons displaced their inalienable right to return, and the appropriation of their homes, lands and property, coupled with the creation of a coercive environment designed to drive the ongoing transfer of Palestinians particularly in East Jerusalem.

Read the full report on Al-Haq's website.

Since 1972, the residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of the Old City of Jerusalem, have been facing an Israeli plan to displace them and build a settlement on the rubble of their homes. Today the people of Sheikh Jarrah are being threatened by intensified Israeli measures to implement this plan, with the issuance of successive Israeli court orders in favor of the settler organizations leading this expansionist scheme.

The attack on Sheikh Jarrah is specifically an attack on Palestinian refugees displaced from their original homes and lands in 1948.

In 1948, the El-Kurd family – like thousands of other Palestinians – were forced from their homes and lands by militias seeking to create an exclusively Jewish state, Israel, in occupied Palestine. Over 750,000 Palestinians were made refugees during the Nakba, and millions of Palestinian refugees have been denied their fundamental right to return home for the past 73 years.

The Nakba did not end in 1948, however. For Palestinians, it continues on a daily basis. Palestinians in Jerusalem are subjected to a series of unlawful measures designed to erase Palestinian existence and identity in the city, as part of a systematic process of ethnic cleansing. The forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah are part of this process, intended to ensure an exclusively Israeli Jewish Jerusalem, at the expense of indigenous Palestinians.

The El-Kurd family was moved into the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem under an agreement between Jordan and the United Nations to house 28 families. In exchange for relinquishing their status as refugees, they were housed in Sheikh Jarrah, with the provision that the property titles would be transferred to those families after three years.

In 1967 Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem, and Sheikh Jarrah has remained under occupation since then. Working hand in hand with the state and military, Israeli illegal settler organizations have attempted to uproot these Palestinian families – already once displaced by Israeli violence and colonization – from the homes where they have lived for decades, and who are entitled to their land as property owners under the agreement between Jordan and the United Nations.

To cement Palestinian dispossession and displacement in Jerusalem, Israel enacted the racist Legal and Administrative Matters Law in 1970, which – like the Absentee Property Law used to confiscate the property of Palestinians forced from their homes and lands in 1948 – facilitates the transfer of property from Palestinians to Israeli Jews.

The situation has reached an emergency status. Far-right racist settler groups have claimed ownership of Sheikh Jarrah and have been taking over Palestinian homes, evicting their rightful owners with the backing of Israeli courts. Adding insult to injury, displaced Palestinian families are then ordered to pay money to the courts to cover the legal costs of the settler organizations.

Read More

East Jerusalem Under Threat: Report from the Civic Coalition of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem

Webinar, The Threat to Al-Quds, December 2020

Israeli court’s order to evict Palestinians from East Jerusalem violates international law

Al Jazeera reported May 5, 2021 that:

"Israeli forces raided the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem for the second night on Tuesday, spraying skunk water, a chemically enhanced type of sewage water, and physically assaulting residents and solidarity protesters."

The Jerusalem Post reports May 6, 2021 that:

Israeli security forces on high alert in response to Sheikh Jarrah

The Times of Israel wrote on May 6, 2021 that:

"The anticipated decision to evict the families comes as Jerusalem lives through tense, violent days. The city has been set on edge in recent weeks as Palestinian protesters and Jewish extremists have both clashed with police."

May 6, 2021 The Arab News reports

The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process urge Israel to cease demolitions and evictions, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law.

The Middle East Eye reports May 6, 2021:

"Tensions have been running high in East Jerusalem as Palestinian families vow not to leave their homes."  

You can also send a letter HERE to the CBC asking them to report on Sheikh Jarrah


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