OKeil: What the occupation authorities are doing represents a flagrant violation of all international laws and norms
Sherif Abdel Hamid: The occupation authorities entrench apartheid against the Palestinian people
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights condemned the Israeli Occupation Forces' storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque's courtyard, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and the forced displacement and illegal eviction of dozens of Palestinian families from their homes, not to mention the continuing attacks on citizens participating Solidarity Breakfast.
On Friday, the Israeli forces launched brutal attacks against the Palestinian people, especially in Al-Aqsa Mosque's courtyard. Worshipers in the mosque and civilians in the health clinic were attacked by tear gas, which resulted in the injury of more than 200 Palestinians. The Israeli forces also fired sound bombs and gas canisters at the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood as well as Bab al-'Amud and Bab al-Asbat areas.
Maat believes that the impact of Israeli colonial settlements and the related illegal policies and practices by Israelis against Palestinian, including discriminatory planning, the zoning system, restrictions on movement, and the plunder of natural resources, contributes, among other things, to obstructing Palestinian livelihoods, obstructing the fulfillment of basic needs, and violating the right of Palestinians to self-determination.
Maat confirms that the current forced evictions are not the first against Jerusalem-based families, after their forced displacement from their homes in Palestinian towns, cities and villages during and after the Nakba, and the constant denial of their inalienable right to return to their homes and properties since 1948. The occupation forces aim to change the demographic composition of the city to secure the Israeli control over Jerusalem.
In this regard, Maat calls on the international community to pressure the occupation authorities to stop their brutal attacks against the Palestinian people, condemn the forced evictions of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and conduct an urgent investigation to prevent their displacement from their homes in Jerusalem. Maat also called for the need to provide international protection for the Palestinian people, and to oblige the Israeli occupation authorities to stop their continuous violations and attacks in all parts of the Palestinian territories, including the occupied city of Jerusalem.
Ayman Okeil, president of Maat, stressed that what the Israeli occupation forces and extremist settlers are doing is part of the Israeli policy that is based on ethnic cleansing and colonial settlement by confiscating Palestinian lands, properties and homes for the benefit of settlement associations, in flagrant violation of all international conventions, norms and relevant United Nations resolutions. Okeil also affirmed that the Israeli colonial settlements are incompatible with the provisions of the Rome Statute, among them the prohibition of population transfer, annexation and apartheid.
For his part, Sherif Abdel Hamid, Director of the Research and Studies Unit at Maat, held the Israeli authorities responsible for the continuation of their illegal and racist measures against the Palestinian people, adding that the occupation authorities had, over many decades, doubled their institutional repression of the Palestinian people, and implemented a systematic plan to transfer the indigenous Palestinian population from their lands. This in addition to the prolonged occupation of the Palestinian territories, the de facto annexation of the West Bank, and the official annexation of Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan, which are all in contravention of international law. Israel has also aggressively pursued an illegal policy of population transfer and demographic manipulation, thus entrenching apartheid against the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line, as it deprived refugees and exiles abroad of their right to return.