By Kaamil Ahmed
A Palestinian family was evicted from its home in occupied East Jerusalem early Tuesday morning despite their attempts to fight the eviction in court.
Last month a court had rejected the family’s claim that the land they were living on was different to the land claimed by Israeli settlers as having belonged to Jews before the division of Jerusalem into Israeli and Jordanian-controlled parts.
But the eviction was not expected to be carried out until after the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, which ended Monday.
The family had been planning to pursue other legal means to prevent the eviction and activist Eyal Raz, who is working with them, said they had obtained an order that prevented them from being evicted for seven days while they took the issue to the court.
"What kind of country is this?" shouted 84-year-old Ayoub Shamasne, who is unable to walk and was carried out of the home on a chair.
Israeli police escorted a group of settlers into the house as they removed the Shamasne family, some of whom tried to re-enter the building.
"I know that the attorney is now in the district court but to be honest, it doesn't matter. Once they took the house and they put three settlers inside, they would not take them out. I cannot believe it," said Raz.
"They evicted a family that has been here since '64. Grandparents, parents, children. And they want to do the same with the rest of the neighborhood. "
The Shamasne’s family had been living in the house since 1964 but lost their fight to remain there in 2013 when the Israeli High Court rejected their appeals.
According to anti-settlement non-governmental organization Peace Now, Israel announced four new settlements in the Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem in July.
All settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank are considered illegal under international law.