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The Israeli occupation of Palestine has taken an ugly turn, as numerous Palestinian families are slated to be evicted from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah by fanatical Jewish settlers.
The outright theft of Palestinian homes and property by predatory Zionist vultures has provoked widespread protests and violence in the revered city. Heavily armed Israeli police forces have intervened to protect the settlers. Hundreds of Palestinians have been injured on the grounds of the nearby Al-Aqsa Mosque. The necessity of defending Jerusalem and one of the holiest sites in Islam is a deeply held conviction for many of the world’s 1.9 billion Muslims.
By slowly encircling Al-Aqsa and allowing property expropriations in East Jerusalem, Israel is playing with fire. It should be recalled that the notorious Arab murderer Ariel Sharon invaded Haram al Sharif surrounded by hundreds of armed police, igniting the second Palestinian Intifada on September 28, 2000. The revolt became known as Al-Aqsa Intifada.
The legality of the evictions will be decided by Israel’s Supreme Court. Palestinians have only a slim chance of prevailing in this venue. Israel is legally structured as an apartheid state. Palestinian Arabs living within the pre-1967 borders of Israel may attain citizenship. However, the crucial designation in the state of Israel is nationality. Declaring itself to be a Jewish state, Israel gives legal and property rights to those who have Jewish nationality that are denied to those with Arab nationality. Palestinians living in the post-1967 “Occupied Territories” of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip have no rights as an occupied people in the eyes of Israel’s leaders. They are denationalized and have no citizenship or property rights.
Palestinians living under Israeli occupation do have rights under international law as articulated in the Hague Regulations of 1907 and Article 2 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. These conventions prohibit the Zionist occupying power from forcefully displacing them and seizing their land.