Egypt slams Sheikh Jarrah home demolition, says eviction of Palestinian families violates int’l humanitarian law

Ahram Online , Thursday 20 Jan 2022

Egypt has slammed Israeli authorities’ demolition of a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah on Wednesday as Israeli police successfully evicted a Palestinian family from the occupied neighbourhood for the first time in years.

 member of the Israeli forces stands by the ruins of a Palestinian house they demolished in Sheik Ja
member of the Israeli forces stands by the ruins of a Palestinian house they demolished in Sheik Jarrah neighborhood on January 19, 2022. AFP

In a statement, the Egyptian foreign ministry also reiterated Egypt’s unwavering stance rejecting building new settlements or expanding existing ones on Palestinian land and evicting Palestinians.

Israeli police violently expelled the members of the Salhiya family in the early morning, carried out the demolition order and arrested more than a dozen people, according to media reports.

Attempted Israeli evictions of Palestinian families in the sensitive district last year helped trigger 11 days of violence between the Israeli forces and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.

More than 250 Palestinian people, including dozens of women and children, were reportedly killed as a result of the Israeli strikes on the Gaza enclave in May before Egypt brokered a tentative ceasefire between the two sides.

US Envoy to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield voiced concerns over Wednesday’s eviction, urging both sides to refrain from unilateral steps that boosts tensions and undermines a negotiated two-state solution.

In its Thursday statement, the Egyptian foreign ministry affirmed that eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah also violates international resolutions and aggravates the situation in the occupied Palestinian lands.

“Continuing these unilateral measures undermines the chances of reaching a two-state solution and directly contributes to disturbing any desired climate that we all aspire to in order to establish just and comprehensive peace in the region,” the ministry said.

In May last year, Egypt allocated $500 million for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip after the Israeli aggression and has since then highlighted the necessity for the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

In December, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi received Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, where he highlighted Egypt’s continued efforts to prevent tensions between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine held trilateral ministerial meeting in Cairo in December to discuss proposals to break the current stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

This followed a summit in Cairo for El-Sisi, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in September, where they emphasised the importance of unifying all partners' efforts to revive the long-frozen peace process between Palestine and Israel.

In a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh in September, El-Sisi also underscored the importance of international support for Egyptian reconstruction efforts in the Palestinian territories.

This was the first visit by Bennett to Egypt as prime minister, as well as the first visit by any Israeli prime minister to Egypt since 2011.

El-Sisi also affirmed to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken the urgent need to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks when the latter visited Egypt late in May.

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