Israel plays for time on expulsions from Jerusalem
Israel’s attorney general on Sunday secured an adjournment of a hearing on plans to deport Palestinians to Jerusalem, a session that had threatened to stir up more violence in the holy city and heighten international concern.
The government may now have some leeway in trying to defuse a powder keg situation in Jerusalem, where the trial and friction during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan has led to clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police.
The Israeli Supreme Court was due on Monday to hear appeals against the planned evictions of several Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, an area captured by Israel in a 1967 war.
A lower court had ruled in favor of the claim of Jewish settlers to the land on which Palestinians’ homes are located, a move seen by Palestinians as an attempt by Israel to drive them out of disputed Jerusalem.
But in a last-minute legal move, appellants asked the court to seek legal advice from Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, paving the way for the postponement of Monday’s session and the possibility that he could argue against the evictions.
A spokesperson for Mandelblit said the court had agreed to receive a future submission from the attorney general and that a new session would be scheduled within 30 days.
Tensions in East Jerusalem turned into clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians around Al-Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest mosque, at the height of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Further violence may also depend on another event scheduled for Monday – an annual flag-waving Israeli Jewish youth march to the Old City of Jerusalem, whose population is largely Palestinian, to mark what Israel is celebrating. like the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.
The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Israel regards the whole city as its capital, including the eastern part which it annexed in a move that has not gained international recognition.
On Saturday night, Islam’s holy night in Laylat al-Qadr, young Palestinians threw stones, set fires and demolished police barricades in the streets leading to the gates of the walled old city as officers mounted and in riot gear were using stun grenades and water. cannon to repel them. Read more
A day earlier, the Israeli government downplayed any state involvement in the Sheikh Jarrah controversy, which the Foreign Ministry called a “real estate dispute between private parties.”
This has apparently done little to assuage concerns in Europe and among regional powers like Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, which have condemned Israel’s conduct around East Jerusalem. Read more
As censorship of Israel mounted among some members of the Democratic Party of US President Joe Biden, the State Department on Saturday said it was “deeply concerned” and called on “authorities to approach the residents (Sheikh Jarrah). .. with compassion and respect “.
In a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no direct mention of the Sheikh Jarrah deportations case.
But he said Israel strongly rejected the pressure not to build in Jerusalem, a reference to opposition to building on
“I also say to the best of our friends: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and just like every nation that builds in its capital and builds its capital, we also have the right to build in Jerusalem and to build Jerusalem. we have done and that is what we will continue to do, ”Netanyahu said.
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