Washington D.C. where the Biden administration is facing pressure from some Democrats and human rights advocates to condemn Israel’s treatment of Palestinian families who face eviction from their home in Sheika Jarrah, an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. For week, the Israeli-Palestinian tensions spurred by a legal battle over Palestinian homes in Sheika Jarrah.
After Israel captured East Jerusalem in the war of 1967, the government began to view Jerusalem as one unified city. The international community rejected Israel’s annexation, and the Palestinians claimed ownership of East Jerusalem; their territory and want it to be their capital in a future Palestinian state.
After the first Arab-Israeli war In 1948, the Sheik Jarrah; a neighborhood in East Jerusalem fell under the Jordanian occupation. The neighborhood was repopulated by the Jordanian government and the United Nations with the Palestinian refugees, according to Evan Gottesman— associate director of policy and communication at the Israel policy Forum.
The Sheika Jarrah is disputing because Israeli settlers say Jews owned land in that neighborhood before the Israel’s creation and they are fighting in court to regain control. The Israeli law allows Jews to reclaim lands, but bars Palestinians from recovering property or land they lost in the same war.
But in 1958, there were 28 Palestinian families who settled in the Sheika Jarrah neighborhood after being expelled from other Arab towns, according to reports by the Middle East Eye, a digital news outlet covering the Middle East and North Africa. It was reported about 40 Palestinian families now live in the Sheika Jarrah, and about seven of those are facing evictions.
In the United States, the Biden administration has reviewed Middle East policy after four years in which former President Donald Trump favored Israeli over Palestinians. The White has resumed in providing humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden has been briefed on the developments. Psaki said he has directed his advisers to engage “intensively” with senior Israeli and Palestanian officials including leaders throughout the Middle East.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken speaks to both sides Israeli- Palestinians to stop the violence.
“It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint,” Blinken said in a statement Friday. Blinken also addressed the concerns of Palestinian families being evicted from their homes after living in the Sheika Jarrah neighborhood for generations.