(AllHipHop News) Hundreds of Palestinian families living in East Jerusalem are opposing a Palestinian Authority proposal to annex a 40-sq-km area of the neighborhood known as Sheikh Jarrah to their territory.
The Palestinian Authority claim that Sheikh Jarrah is not part of Jerusalem, but rather part of the West Bank, which technically falls under PA rule.
Most of the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah moved there in 1948 after Israel took over the East Jerusalem neighborhoods.
According to the Jerusalem Post, families like Sidin Awad, who have lived in Sheikh Jarrah for decades, want to remain there.
Awad said: “All our house documents from 1947 were scattered all over the place when we moved here. But the work was done to make sure that Israel, which is the tenant of the house, doesn’t get possession without us ever having any legal right to live here.”
The latest proposal was drawn up by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) based on the 1975 World Conference on Human Rights Resolution 271.
The Resolution rejected “establishing or extending international jurisdiction over territories occupied by armed forces of one state for the purpose of investigation, examination, trial or punishment under the territorial jurisdiction of another state or the ICC”.
It also outlines that the territory “shall not be divided by occupation forces”.
The ICRC proposal seeks to establish the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which sits in The Hague, Netherlands, over the occupied West Bank.
The ICRC argue that the State of Israel, which has a majority of settlers, broke Article 13 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention by transferring civilians into Sheikh Jarrah.
“Forcible displacement is prohibited, and the application of law is the responsibility of the State exercising sovereignty”, the ICRC wrote.
New Zealand, which currently chairs the UN Human Rights Council, condemned the new Palestinian Authority plan to annex Sheikh Jarrah to their territory.
“Our focus is on the essential long-term solution – one that can provide security, stability and regularity to Sheikh Jarrah and Jerusalem,” said James Munro, New Zealand’s Special Envoy to the UN in Geneva.
“By making legal claims for the occupier, the Palestinian Authority and the PA-run courts are disputing international law,” added Munro.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah defended the Palestinian Authority’s move.
“We have a responsibility to the people of Jerusalem, to uphold the Palestinian flag in Sheikh Jarrah and to protect those residents who have no other source of defense in an attempt to establish occupation,” Hamdallah said.
Before Israel conquered East Jerusalem and surrounding West Bank in 1967, UN Resolution 194 called on Israel to allow Palestinian refugees to return.
After Israel defeated Jordan, its last sovereign control over East Jerusalem, Palestine swore in the UN General Assembly as their own sovereign nation in 1948.
Under the Oslo Agreement signed in 1993, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to the principle of “reconciliation”, in which they would return to the 1967 borders.
The latest Palestinians’ demands come days after Israel began enforcing a long-held restriction at a West Bank checkpoint to block Palestinians in East Jerusalem from receiving Israeli identity cards in case they attempt to cross from one sector of the city to another.
According to Israel’s Interior Ministry, the restriction prevents out-of-state ID card holders – including non-Jewish Israelis – from entering the West Bank.
While Israel calls Jerusalem the “eternal capital of the Jewish people”, many Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Residents of East Jerusalem have been free to carry the Israeli Israeli ID cards since 1994.
The current Palestinian Authority is within the West Bank, not the Palestinian territory, as Palestinians in the Old City recognize the West Bank and East Jerusalem as the same.
According to Israeli news media, Israel ended the old agreement, which guaranteed Palestinians free movement within the West Bank.
The Israeli government prevented some Palestinian residents from carrying ID cards for 12 months after the expiration of the concession in June 2014.