Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has urged Israel to halt “provocative” actions after yet another Palestinian family in East Jerusalem was evicted from its home.
A statement issued by his spokesperson said Mr. Ban expressed his “dismay” at the continued Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem, including the demolition of Palestinian homes, the eviction of Palestinian families and the insertion of settlers into Palestinian neighbourhoods. “These actions stoke tensions, cause suffering and further undermine trust,” he said.
On Tuesday, Israeli settlers used force to evict a Palestinian family from its home in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Reports say dozens of settlers backed by private security guards stormed into the residential premises, after the district court quashed an appeal by the resident. The storming led to violence between the settlers and Palestinian residents, causing police intervention.
Ownership of around 28 houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood is disputed, resulting in a legal battle which has already lasted for 30 years.
The Palestinian residents were designated as refugees by the United Nations after they fled western Jerusalem in the shadow of the 1948 war, which led to the emergence of Israel. However, in the seventies, a committee of Sephardic Jews claimed ownership citing pre-war Turkish historical records.
In his statement Mr. Ban focused on the Road Map, the blueprint containing a series of steps that would result in the emergence of a Palestinian state. Mr. Ban said Israeli evictions and house demolitions in East Jerusalem, and the expansion of settlements were “obstacles to peace and contrary to the Road Map for a two-state solution”.