Israeli police forcibly evicted a Palestinian family from their home in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday, immediately replacing them with a group of Israeli settlers.
The Abu Asab family, who live in the Muslim Quarter of the city, had been handed an eviction notice by the Israeli Supreme Court, ordering them to vacate the property by February 28th.
The court ruled that Jewish settlers were the “rightful owners” of the property under the pretext that Jewish residents lived in the home pre-1948.
Video footage of the eviction shows Israeli forces shoving and assaulting members of the Abu Asab family as they removed them from the home.
One Palestinian woman, purportedly a resident of the house, can be seen weeping as settlers hung Israeli flags from the home and locked the front door.
“It’s my house, it’s my whole life,” she cried. “They took everything.”
According to local sources, the family were forced to leave without clearing the home of their furniture and other possessions.
Sources added that two men from the Abu Asab family were also arrested by Israeli police during the eviction.
According to settlement watchdog Peace Now, the Abu Asab family are originally from the Baq’a neighborhood of southern Jerusalem, and were kicked out during the Nakba in 1948. In the 50’s, they relocated to the Muslim Quarter of the Old City in a home that once belonged to the Jewish Meisel family. The Meisel family left their home during the 1948 war.
Twenty years later, in 1970, the Israeli Knesset enacted the Legal and Administrative Matters Law, which stipulated that property assets formerly belonging to Jews in East Jerusalem would be returned to them.
Meanwhile, Palestinians who were forced out of their homes in the Nakba were not granted the same right.
“The Maisel family dedicated the property to a trust. A few years ago, settlers managed to appoint themselves as directors of this trust, and in their name they sued the family who lived in the property in protected rent during the days of the Jordanians and paid rent regularly,” Peace Now said.
“With this crooked legal situation, the court granted the settlers the house and the Abu Asab family became refugees for the second time. Meanwhile, the police, cognizant of the fact that throwing a family out of the house will not look good in the media, are not allowing anyone to approach,” the statement concluded.