Palestinian communities living in Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and the Old City face increasingly brutal Israeli practices of ethnic cleansing and its discriminatory legal system.
Read how this impacts the families living in these areas and how the people’s power to resist Israeli apparatuses of apartheid, settler colonialism and violence is growing as a response.
It is time for global action to #SaveSheikhJarrah, #SaveSilwan, #SaveJerusalem and thwart Israel’s racist policies of forcible dispossession, displacement and discrimination of Palestinians.
Ongoing Action Alert
On Sunday, August 15, the deadline for 49 homes in Al Bustan neighbourhood, in Silwan, Jerusalem, expires. The Palestinian families had been ordered to demolish their homes before then.
Amany Odeh, a dentist and a mother of two, is one of the people that may lose their home any time after August 15:
“They want to force us to demolish the house with our hands; something we refuse to do. My parents’ home faces a similar destiny as mine. They want to empty the neighborhood from its Palestinian inhabitants. This amounts to mass forcible expulsion.”
Please help us to mobilize public opinion and your governments to avoid the destruction of more lives.
Previous Action Alerts
Israel’s Supreme Court is set to decide on the imminent forcible ethnic displacement of Al-Askafi, Al-Ja’ouni, Al-Qasem and Al-Kurd families from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on August 2nd.
As we are well aware that Israeli courts are nothing more than institutions to enforce and consolidate apartheid and settler colonial policies against our people, we count on international solidarity to support the steadfastness of the families by mobilizing your governments to take action.
In August 2021, the Israeli government plans to continue its ethnic cleansing across all of Palestine by forcing Palestinians out of their homes in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, and beyond.
For supporters and friends of Palestine in the US, join in the #MakeNoiseForJerusalem Campaign launched by Palestine solidarity and rights groups in the US which is scheduled to take place during the entire month of August.
Access a toolkit to up the pressure here.
On July 8, we co-organized a webinar and a call for action titled ‘#SaveJerusalem: We Can’t Stop Now!’ in which we listened to messages from Jerusalem and urged the participants to take action to stop the Israeli ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem. In case you missed the event, you can still watch it here.
Speakers in the webinar were:
- Dawood Al-Ghoul, a grassroots organizer from Silwan
- Reem, a home defender from Sheikh Jarrah
- Zakariya Odeh, coordinator of the Civil Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem
- Moderator: Manal Shqair, Stop the Wall Campaign
Israel’s attack on Palestinian history, presence and future in Jerusalem is relentless.
We are facing ethnic cleansing, racial discrimination, collective punishment and repression of all forms. Yet, we won’t give up. We are determined to continue our struggle and nourish our sumoud [steadfastness] every day.
We know this is not only a struggle for Palestinians in Jerusalem, their homes, families, communities, their dreams and future.
Many are already refugees since the Nakba started in 1948. Israel’s policies of expulsion and dispossession continue across historic Palestine, from Yafa to the Jordan Valley.
The attacks on Jerusalem are at the core and an intrinsic part of Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid against all of our people.
As we defend Jerusalem from the onslaught of these policies, we are not only defending Palestinian rights but a vision of humanity based on freedom, justice and equality. Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine, the city of our fathers/mothers and forefathers/foremothers has been a space of diversity, a crossing point of cultures and religions. We defy the Zionist attempts to transform Jerusalem into a capital of racist supremacy and exclusion.
Israeli efforts to dominate the Palestinian people and take over our lands and homes include elaborate schemes to fragment us within our city and as a people.
We know that our strength is in unity, sumoud and grassroots organizing.
#SaveJerusalem #SaveSheikhJarrah #SaveSilwan #InOurHands
More about #SaveJerusalem
Israel’s policies in Jerusalem are an integral part of its settler colonial project and apartheid regime against the entire Palestinian people.
Tens of families in Sheikh Jarrah are being threatened with expulsion from their homes.
Silwan has received 6817 demolition orders. Half of its neighborhoods are threatened with total demolition or confiscation of homes by settler organizations.
The Old City
Government-backed settler groups continuously increase the number of Jewish settlers through the takeover of Palestinian homes, shops and quarters.
Israel’s largest state-backed settler organizations, including the JNF, receive a large part of their funding from foreign donations.
Call for Action to #SaveJerusalem now!
Palestinians in Jerusalem are sounding the alarm!
Words are not enough and governments need to take effective action to stop Israel’s policies of occupation, colonization and apartheid in Jerusalem and elsewhere.
Upcoming legal deadlines:
- August 2: Court hearing on Al-Askafi, Al-Ja’ouni, Al-Qasem and Al-Kurd families
- August 15: Freeze on demolition order for 49 buildings in Al Bustan expires
- October 15: The High Court was supposed to submit its opinion on the homes of the Dweik, Shweiki and Odeh families in Batn Al-Hawa on August 29; yet, the legal advisor delayed submission of his opinion to October 15. This (without possibility of appeal) will likely impact the homes of many other families in the area that are in the process of legal proceedings.
We call on activists to:
- Keep amplifying the messages and calls from Palestinians in Jerusalem and support their struggle for freedom, justice and equality;
- Help us to build and increase focus on Israel’s apartheid courts and their verdicts over the expulsion of Palestinian families from Jerusalem;
- Stand with the families who see their homes and livelihoods demolished by denouncing it online, mobilizing your governments and elected representatives;
- Keep pressuring governments to not only denounce but take action against Israel’s illegal policies;
- Work to defund the settler organizations that work together with the Israeli state to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem, including by building campaigns to strip them off their charitable status.
- Help us to build a boycott of the cable car to be built by Israel and its settler organizations in Silwan.
- Build BDS campaigns targeting companies in the implementation of Israel’s apartheid policies in Jerusalem, including Hyundai (involved in home demolitions) and CAF (involved in building the settler light rail in Jerusalem).
We call on the international community:
- Demand an immediate halt to Israel’s illegal policies of forced displacement, apartheid and colonization in Jerusalem and elsewhere and ensure effective measures are taken in case Israel continues to violate international law and human rights, including the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people;
- Refrain from taking any measures aimed at recognising Israel’s illegal annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, its policies or practices that are part of its regime of apartheid or otherwise violate international law or human rights;
- Refrain from promoting Israeli settler tourism in occupied East Jerusalem;
- Ensure no corporations, institutions or civil society organizations based in your country are complicit with Israel’s illegal policies, including through the construction of settlement infrastructure such as the cable car in Silwan or the Jerusalem Light Rail, provision of equipment for home demolitions or other forms of support and funding;
- Cooperate to bring to an end, including through coercive measures such as sanctions, Israel’s occupation, colonisation, and apartheid regime, as well as as the prolonged denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, including permanent sovereignty, and the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes, lands, and property, as mandated by international law;
- Ensure international justice and accountability, including by activating universal jurisdiction mechanisms to try perpetrators of suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the OPT in their own jurisdictions and supporting a full, thorough, and comprehensive investigation into the Situation in Palestine by the ICC.
GRASSROOTS INITIATIVES TO COMBAT ISRAELI SETTLER COLONIALISM
As Israel has been intensifying the ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, Palestinians have been clinging to their weapon of steadfastness under the motto: “We Will Not Leave”. They are holding on to the certitude that in the end justice will prevail. The support from people across the globe gives them hope.
For months, Palestinians in both Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan have been campaigning and calling for more actions on the ground and internationally to hold Israel accountable for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
The two campaigns have also allowed Palestinians to be the ones narrating their story after they have been misrepresented or even totally silenced by both Israeli and international media.
International human rights and solidarity groups have been actively supporting the two campaigns pressuring their governments to stop Israeli crimes and hold the Israeli apartheid regime accountable.
A few weeks before the court hearing of a number of families from Sheikh Jarrah on May 2nd, threatened families launched the #SaveSheikhJarrah Campaign. The campaign included actions on the ground and online mobilization.
On the ground, residents from Sheikh Jarrah have held daily protests and sit-ins, where hundreds of Palestinians from Jerusalem and Palestinian citizens of Israel joined them. Israel has brutally suppressed the protests and intensified restrictions by setting up checkpoints barring access to the neighborhood since weeks now- Yet, the Israeli occupation has failed to break the will of sumoud [steadfastness] and the protests there.
The hashtag #SaveSheikhJarrah has flooded social media platforms in different languages for months now as activists in the neighborhood urge decision makers and advocates to exert more pressure on the Israeli government to stop what they insist on calling an “ongoing Nakba [catastrophe]” that must end.
The residents of Sheikh Jarrah also hold daily online tours and have taken to streaming videos of the violence they face from both Israeli settlers and soldiers that escort them.
The daily protests in Sheikh Jarrah, as well as the suppression of Palestinians in Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound during the month of Ramadan have resulted in a wave of protests across historic Palestine, be it by Palestinian citizens of Israel or Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Palestinians have called this popular revolt the ’Unity Intifada’ asserting that they are united not only to stop the ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, but also to overcome decades of systemic oppression against them.
As part of the campaign, in April, 2021, Palestinian and non-Palestinian human rights organizations signed a letter sent by Sheikh Jarrah families to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The letter called on Fatou Bensouda, now former prosecutor of the ICC, to urgently include the looming ethnic cleansing of more than 24 Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah in their investigations of Israeli human rights violations in the OPT.
For more actions that have been taken to Save the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, read a detailed update released by the Mondoweiss here.
Palestinians of Silwan joined in the efforts started by the #SaveSheikhJarrah campaign by holding activities to shed light on the struggle of families threatened with Israeli ethnic cleansing.
A sit-in tent has been in place in Al-Bustan neighborhood, where people gather daily to emphasize their rejection of and resistance to all the Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing practices.
Although the Israeli occupation invaded the sit-in tent and destroyed it several times, the people of Silwan insist on rebuilding it every time it is demolished.
Joint actions with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have also taken place to emphasize unity of the struggle. On June 4 2021, local activists organized a running event. Hundreds of Palestinians from Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and 48 Palestine [present-day Israel] took part in the run that started in Sheikh Jarrah and ended 3.5 km away in Silwan.
Live streaming and regular updates from the ground on social media have also resulted in flooding the virtual world with the hashtag of #SaveSilwan along with the #SaveSheikhJarrah hashtag.
Similar to the #SaveSheikhJarrah campaign, through the #SaveSilwan campaign, Palestinians call on the international community to act immediately, end complicity with Israeli crimes and stop the intensified ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem.
Palestinians in Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and elsewhere in Palestine continue standing steadfast protesting the systematic oppression and dehumanization befalling them by the Israeli occupation to Save all of Jerusalem from Israeli Judaization, ghettoization and forcible displacement.
Join the Stop the Wall Campaign to tear down Israel’s apartheid Wall!
Our joint struggle is becoming the weak spot for the Israeli occupation.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
We are strong with you standing with our struggle!