Settlers ask court to evict Arab families from Sheikh Jarrah

A settler group has asked the courts to evict two additional Palestinian families from land it claims ownership to in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of , media reported Wednesday.

In a petition filed with the Jerusalem Magistrates CourtTuesday, the Nahalat Shimon organization claimed the Palestinians were illegaltenants and demanded that they “immediately clear the property of all individualsand belongings.”

Over the past six months Sheikh Jarrah has become a sourceof contention between Jewish settlers, who want to build houses for Jews in the predominantly Arab neighborhood, and Palestinians and their supporters.

Hatim Abdulqader, a Fatah official charged with the portfolio, wasquoted by the Arab News Website as saying that the families would refuseto leave the property.

"New occupiers from abroad are accommodating themselvesand their belongings in the Palestinian houses and the evicted Palestinianswill have nowhere to sleep,” he said.

Nahalat Shimon claims ownership to property inSheikh Jarrah on behalf of the Sephardic Community Committee, which purchased land in the area in the early 20th century.