The European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah condemned on Saturday the eviction of a Palestinian family in Beit Hanina Wednesday, AFP reported.
The EU missions stated that they "condemn the eviction of the Natshe family from their home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina," according to AFP.
They also reportedly expressed "deep concern" regarding plans to build a new settlement "in the midst of this traditional Palestinian neighborhood," adding that "settlements are illegal under international law."
Tensions rose in the normally quiet Beit Hanina neighborhood after an Arab family was evicted from its home on Wednesday morning, and a half dozen young activists from the Israel Land Fund moved into the house immediately afterwards.
Khaled Natche, his wife, Lubna, and their nine children were
evicted after an eight-year legal battle found that the land was legally
purchased by Jews.
The eviction of the Natche family is the first step toward creating a Jewish complex of 50 apartments in the predominantly Arab neighborhood, according to Israel Land Fund director Aryeh King. King said a Jewish man purchased two buildings in the neighborhood 35 years ago. The properties also belonged to Jewish residents prior to 1948, he said.
The EU statement follows previous condemnation over the eviction by United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory Maxwell Gaylard.
“Evictions of Palestinians from their homes and properties in occupied territory contravene international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and should cease," Gaylard said in a statement.
Senior UN officials, including the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, and the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, have repeatedly called for an end to Israel’s eviction policy, saying that the settlement of Israeli citizens in occupied Palestinian territory is clearly prohibited under international law.
Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.
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