The Palestinian Authority (PA) has complained to the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding the “forced eviction of Arab families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem”, a PA official announced yesterday.
Spokesperson Ibrahim Melhem wrote on Facebook that Israel is violating international law by evicting the Palestinian families in this area to make way for illegal settlers.
The letter sent to the ICC called on the international body to include the issue of Sheikh Jarrah in its investigation into Israeli war crimes committed against Palestinians.
Omar Awadallah, an official within the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, said the letter was sent to the ICC under the directive of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
“The forcible transfer of population and associated war crimes and crimes against humanity fall within the Rome Statute [of the International Criminal Court],” he wrote.
Palestinians have been protesting against the forced displacement of people in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood following an Israeli court order. The Israeli district court in East Jerusalem approved a decision to vacate six Palestinian families from their homes in May in favour of Israeli settlers. The same court ruled that another seven families in Sheikh Jarrah are to leave their homes by 1 August.
Palestinians fear it is part of an ongoing effort by Israeli settlers to take control of Palestinian homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and subsequently the rest of Jerusalem.