OLD CITY BASIN WATCH: Abu Asab family latest to be evicted from Muslim Quarter

February 17, 2019


On Sunday, February 17, 2019, the 7-member Abu Asab family was evicted from its home on Al Qarami Street in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.
In the early morning of February 17, Israel Police forces and Execution Office personnel entered the home and demanded that the family evacuate the premises.  Israeli and Palestinian activists gathered outside but were blocked from approaching the home by a large contingent of border police. Just after noon, the family was forcefully removed and Hatem Abu Asab, the father of four children living in the house, was arrested for alleged failure to comply with police orders.
Settlers immediately entered the apartment and raised the Israeli flag on its roof.

The eviction took place just two weeks after Ir Amim reported that the Execution Office had delivered a notice of eviction to the family. 

Hundreds more families in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan are at risk of eviction – the most imminent being the Sabbagh family in the Kerem Alja’oni section of Sheikh Jarrah. Sustained pressure to block this eviction is now critical.

These evictions not only constitute grievous violations of human rights, executed on the basis of institutionalized legal discrimination; they are part and parcel of an Israeli policy aimed at further embedding Israeli control of the entire Old City Basin, as evidenced in detailed fashion by Ir Amim’s latest map, “Settlement Ring around the Old City.” 

The new map documents a tightening belt of settler compounds, entire Palestinian communities at risk of eviction, and touristic settlement sites in the Old City Basin, demonstrating a deliberate strategy to cement contiguity between hotspots of settlement inside Palestinian areas. The pace of these developments has notably increased in advance of the anticipated unveiling of a US peace initiative.

In less than four days since publication of the map, in addition to the Abu Asab family being forcefully displaced, plans promoted by city counselor and settler leader Arieh King have been added to the March 19 District Committee agenda for discussion of objections. These plans – for two buildings with a collective 13 units – would require the eviction of 5 more Palestinian families from existing buildings targeted for demolition to make way for new construction.