European Union diplomats, on Monday, visited the Sabbagh family, who are under threat of eviction from their home in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, for the benefit of Jewish settlers, and warned that settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory is illegal under international law.
The Israeli High Court dismissed, on 15 November, a final appeal against the eviction of the Sabbagh family, from its home in Sheikh Jarrah, following a claim by settlers that they own the plot where the house is located, despite the fact that the Sabbagh family submitted documents proving the fallacy of the claim, by the settlers, that the house is registered in their name.
The court had ruled that the statute of action, in the lawsuit against the settlers, has expired and therefore the appeal was rejected.
“If the eviction is carried out, it would amount to the displacement of around 32 members of the Sabbagh family, including 6 children,” the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah said, in a statement on the visit, adding that further settlement plans, including evictions, are being moved forward in Sheikh Jarrah.
“The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah recall the successive Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions and statements in which the EU has repeated its strong opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and actions taken in this context, including evictions and demolitions. The policy of settlement construction and expansion, including in East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law, and its continuation undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for a lasting peace,” concluded the statement, according to WAFA.
In related news, the European Union Representative issued a statement, on Monday, on the dissolution of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah.
The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah have noted the dissolution of the PLC in December 2018 and the announcement of legislative elections within 6 months.
The statement said, according to Ma’an: “While the PLC has not been in session since 2007 and has not been in a position to exercise its function as the legislative body of the Palestinian Authority (PA), as foreseen in the Palestinian Basic Law, over the course of the last decade, its dissolution formally brings to an end the mandate of the only elected governing body of the Palestinian Authority, a development the EU missions regard with concern.”
The statement added, “In line with the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions from 2016, and in light of the announced elections, the EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah encourage the Palestinian leadership to work toward strong, inclusive, accountable and democratic institutions, based on respect for the rule of law and human rights.”
In the statement, the EU called upon the Palestinian government to work towards genuine and democratic elections for all Palestinians.
The EU considers this to be “crucial in view of the establishment of a viable and sovereign Palestinian State.”
The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah also called on all Palestinian factions to seek “common ground” and to work together to pursue “a positive path towards democracy” for the full benefit of the Palestinian people.
The EU missions urged all Palestinian factions “to engage in good faith in the reconciliation process which is an important element for reaching the two state solution,” noting, “The PA must fully resume its governmental functions in Gaza, as it is an integral part of a future Palestinian state.”