The Israeli Supreme Court this week offered Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah a compromise in their ongoing fight to block Jewish settlers from forcibly expelling them from their own homes.
The high court proposed that Palestinian families could stay in their homes for now if they begin paying rent to the Jewish settler group that claims ownership over the properties — a deal the families rejected, insisting they are the legal owners.
The planned evictions in East Jerusalem helped spark the last war in Gaza in May and have galvanized international support for Palestinians facing dispossession from settler groups and the state.
The United Nations has described the planned evictions as a possible war crime. Palestinian writer and poet Mohammed El-Kurd, whose family is among those facing eviction in Sheikh Jarrah, says the Israeli Supreme Court is “evading its responsibilities” by refusing to make a ruling, offering a face-saving compromise instead that will not ultimately benefit the families.
“We would be living at the mercy of settlers, paying rent to live in our own homes and dealing with all kinds of arbitrary policies,” he says.
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