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Originally posted by masonwatcher
reply to post by mamabeth
So in effect, you admit that you are of a religion that is in favour of theft, the murder and ethnic cleansing of people. Anything goes. So who are the terrorists now?
The family have documents from 1956 proving the house was built and given to them by the United Nations and the Jordanian government
The legal position is clear. There have been successive UN Security Council resolutions—for example, resolution 465 from 1980, which stated that
"all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof have no legal validity and...Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East".
In the advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice in 2004 on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory, it unanimously ruled that settlements were illegal. It stated that
"since 1977, Israel has conducted a policy and developed practices involving the establishment of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, contrary to the terms of article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention which provides: 'The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.'"
However, things are not always what they seem and the eviction of the Hanoun and Ghawi families are an apt example of how an appetite for a certain type of story can create that story regardless of the facts. As an organisation that follows media coverage of the Middle East closely, we gathered from Sunday and Monday's reporting, such as on the BBC, in the Guardian and in the Times that the two Palestinian families were evicted because Israeli courts had found that the land belonged to Jews, not to the Palestinians living there. Cut to religiously clad Jews busting in to the newly vacated houses and the whole thing is just obvious: Israel mercilessly turfs Arabs on to the street to plant more settlers in east Jerusalem.
It turns out that this is simply not the case. In fact, there is nothing simple about this case at all. There is a long legal history pertaining to the dispute between 28 Arab families and Jewish organisations over the ownership of the land in question. However, one crucial point was omitted from all reporting from the British sources named above (bar a small amendment to the BBC article made yesterday following a communication from us): the two Arab families evicted on Sunday were evicted for failing to pay rent in violation of the terms of their tenancy agreements. The Arab families who have kept to the terms of their tenancy agreement have not been evicted.
It is true that the non-payment of rent is tied up with the dispute over who owns the land, but it is still intensely relevant to the story. It's all very well for the Guardian's Middle East editor, Ian Black, to describe the evictions as "the ugly face of ethnic cleansing" or for Cif contributor Matt Kennard to claim that they represent "a process of racial purification". But without informing readers that the only people being evicted are the ones who refused to pay rent to the landlords they recognised decades ago, they paint a distorted picture.