IDF soldiers at Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem [Illustrative].
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A march protesting the evictions of two Arab families who have lived in the capital’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the Muslim Quarter of the Old City for decades has been organized to take place on Friday, the Palestinian activist group Free Jerusalem announced on Thursday.
According to Free Jerusalem, the Sub Laban family, who moved into their Old City home in 1953, and the Shamasneh family, who have lived in Sheikh Jarrah for an undisclosed period, are being forced out in May to make room for Jewish residents, backed by the government.
“These evictions are part of ongoing efforts of settler families... supported by the state to create a ring of settlements surrounding the Old City in order to promise the continued control of Jews on Jerusalem as a whole,” Free Jerusalem wrote on its Facebook page.
“We will march together with members of the two families this coming Friday to prevent the... evictions of the families and resist the Judaization of east Jerusalem.”
The post continued: “Stop the racism! Stop the Judaization!. We call on Israelis and Palestinians together.”
Rafat Sub Laban, whose mother, Nora, holds the home’s lease, told the online Arab news site Electric Intifada that when his maternal grandparents moved into the residence in 1953, they were granted “protected tenants” status from Jordan’s Custodian of Enemy Property.
However, he said that following the 1967 Six Day War, the property was placed under the control of the Israeli Guardian of Absentee Property. And although the family maintained its protected status after the transfer, Sub Laban contended that the government has repeatedly attempted to force the family out.
The Jerusalem Municipality could not be reached for comment.
The march is scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. at Damascus Gate, Free Jerusalem said.