The locals of Sheikh Jarrah: We unanimously rejected the proposed settlement, and it is time to live without the specter of displacement
The residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem announced on Tuesday their position rejecting the proposed settlement of the Israeli Supreme Court, which will make the families “protected tenants” and the settlement association will be the owner of the land on which their homes are built.
On Tuesday afternoon, the neighborhood committee held a press conference, during which it announced its position rejecting the proposal of the Supreme Court - which has a deadline to respond it on Tuesday.
Mona Al-Kurd spoke on behalf of the residents of the neighborhood at the conference, during which she read the statement that came in it: “We unanimously rejected the “proposal” by the "Israeli Supreme Court," which would have rendered us as 'protected tenants' at the mercy of settler organizations. We stand firm in our refusal to compromise on our rights despite the lack of institutional guarantees that would protect our presence as Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem.
The Israeli judiciary is circumventing its duty to adjudicate the case and is forcing us instead to choose between our own dispossession or submitting to an oppressive agreement. Naturally, we refuse to commit someone else's crimes.
Such “compromises” create the illusion of the ball in our court, fabricating a framing in which we reject a “generous deal,” in a situation where our dispossession would still be imminent and our homes would still be regarded as someone else’s. Such “deals” distract from the crime at hand: ethnic cleansing perpetrated by a settler-colonial judiciary and its settlers.
The statement held the occupation government fully responsible for the theft of Sheikh Jarrah's homes. It also bears the responsibility in parallel with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which built Sheikh Jarrah as a project for housing refugees in 1956 and gave the residents the full right to own the land.
The statement continued: "The Palestinian Authority bears the responsibility towards us, as we are an inseparable part of the holy city of Jerusalem."
The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood committee called on the international community - which has always condemned against our displacement and called it a war crime - to stand up to its responsibilities to deter the Israeli courts from expelling them from their neighborhood that they lived in and defended for generations and generations, and they remained in the battle alone.
The statement confirmed that the defense team - consisting of Professor Saleh (Hosni) Abu Hussein and Dr. Sami Arshid - defended Sheikh Jarrah's families with honesty, sincerity and endless professionalism.
The statement ended with: “It is time for our Nakba to end. Our families deserve to live in peace without the looming ghost of imminent displacement.”