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Palestinians Evicted From E. Jerusalem Home

Fourteen members of a Palestinian family were evicted from two homes in an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood after an Israeli court ruled that Jews had legally purchased the properties.

The Natshe family was evicted Wednesday from their home Beit Hanina, a well-off Arab neighborhood in the northern quadrant of eastern Jerusalem.

Jewish families immediately moved in. It is the first Jewish residential presence in the neighborhood.

A second family home next door had been evacuated several weeks ago; police were required to remove the residents and their property on Wednesday, according to reports.

The settler-run Israel Land Fund took over the fight for the properties from a man who said he purchased the homes more than three decades ago. The properties were also owned by Jews before 1948, according to the fund. The organization plans to establish a Jewish enclave of 50 apartments in the Arab neighborhood.

“Evictions of Palestinians from their homes and properties in occupied territory contravene international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and should cease,” said United Nations humanitarian coordinator Maxwell Gaylard said Thursday in a statement.

Observers fear that the neighborhood will become like the Shimon Hatzadik enclave in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheik Jarrah, which must be protected by private security and has touched off several controversies. In that case as well, a court ruled in favor of Jewish ownership and three Palestinian families were evicted.

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