The Israeli Occupation Authorities ordered the eviction of number of Palestinian shops in Jerusalem Old City

The Israeli Occupation Authorities ordered the eviction of number of Palestinian shops in Jerusalem Old City
Violation:  eviction orders against 5 shops.
Date: February 10, 2010.
Violators: the Israeli Occupation Police alongside the Jewish Municipality in the Occupied City staff.
Victims: Najati al J’abari, M’otasim abu Rmeilah, and Samir al Salaymah.

Location: Damascus Gate – the Occupied City of Jerusalem.
Damascus Gate:
It is one of the most famous and most important sites in the old city. It is placed at the middle of the Old City’s northern wall. The gate is 42 meters long and 17 meters high. The current gate was build by the Ottoman Emperor Suleiman the Magnificent. The outer part of the gate is formed by a big hatch with two gigantic towers on both sides of the hatch.
In Arabic, it is called ‘Bab al ‘Amud’, the Tower Gate, it is said that there used to be a tower placed in the middle of the gate with a statue of the Roman Emperor Hadrian – who ruled the area back then – on top of it. See Photo 1
The Israeli Supreme Court has approved the sentence of the Israeli Central Court which called for the eviction and demolition of 5 shops in the Old City.
On February 10, 2010, the market inspector in the Jewish Municipality of the Occupied City handed Mr. Mohammad abu Al-Dab’at the owner of the shops rented to the aforementioned victims. The order was justified by the ‘need to develop the infrastructure of the Old City’; however, the real intention is taking control of the Old City and Al Aqsa Mosque.
The total area of the threatened shops is around 230 m2 and has been used by the current leasers since 1990’s. In addition, more than 150 people benefit from the shops.
Picture 2+3: part of the threatened shops
The Jewish Municipality in the Occupied City and the Israeli Antiques Authority have ordered immediate stoppage of any renovation done by the owners. Also, they ordered immediate eviction. The owners have pleaded to the various levels of the Israeli Judicial System, they filed a case in the Israeli Preliminary Court and then to the Israeli Central Court which sentenced in favor of the shop owners.
Nevertheless, the ‘Old City Renovation’ Company pleaded to the Municipality Court which ruled in favor of the company and the Municipality decision. The shop owners tried to plea to the Central Court and the Supreme Court but it was useless.
The Israeli Supreme Court approved the Israeli Central Court sentence which included the eviction and demolition of the shops and turn the area to an open garden like it used to be. The Israeli Supreme Court decision is concurrent with the Israeli plans that called for the closure of Damascus Gate area and the path that leads to Al Aqsa Mosque for two consecutive years. If happened, this will paralyze traffic in the area, thus, diminish any chance of prosperity. In that case, the landlords will be forced to leave their shops and look for other sources of income.
During a field visit, an LRC found out that the owners have not yet received any order from the Israeli Municipality or the court. What happened is that the market inspector handed the owners a demolition and eviction order which is beyond his responsibilities. During the 1980’s a wealthy Jewish family made a huge donation designated for building a park and a public toilet within the Old City walls and in the aforementioned shops area.
LRC warns of the risks of such Israeli Actions; such actions that manipulate the holiness and history of the Old city.  The Israeli measures including the light railway and David Park are part of a schematic that intend to destroy the Palestinians economy and eventually clear the Old City from its Arab residences.


Categories: Military Orders