In the early hours of July 11, Israeli authorities evicted a Palestinian Ghaith-Sub Laban family from their home in the old city of Jerusalem. The home was located just a walking distance from the Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest mosque.
By order of the Israeli court, the Ghaith-Sub Laban family was forcibly evicted. The family had been living there for more than 70 years and had been engaged in legal battles for 45 years. Dozens of Isreali occupational forces raided the house of the Ghaith-Sub Laban family so settlers could take over.
Activists say this removal is part of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian neighbourhoods with the support of the government. This is the act of the Israelis taking control over east Jerusalem by seizing property.
Jewish Settlers Expel Ghaith-Sub Laban From Their Home in Jerusalem’s Old City
Since 1953, the Nora Ghaith-Sub Laban family has been renting the home. By this time, the eastern half of Jerusalem, along with the Old City, was under Jordanian administration. For 45 years now, their family has been engaging in legal contests against government-backed settler organizations. Despite the granting of protected lease rights, they persist in fighting for their rights.
In 1967, once Israel occupied eastern Jerusalem, they assumed authority over property before even transferring it to a private Jewish settler organisation, the Galetzia Trust.
In 2014, an Israeli magistrate court forcibly displaced six out of eight members of the family by revoking their protected tenant status.
After exhausting all legal options, the high court ruled that Mustafa Sub Laban (72 years old) and Nora Ghaith (68 years old), the parents, could be expelled from their home. The eviction could take place anytime between June 28 and July 13.
Palestinians Who Were Evicted From Their Houses In Israel Do Not Have An Equivalent Right.
By early Tuesday morning (July 11, 2023), Police officers had forced open the door of Nora Ghaith-Sub Laban’s house and evicted the family.
Ahmad Sub Laban, the son, reported that his family received a ban. They faced restrictions and were not allowed to reenter the premises to retrieve medicine and their family member, Rafat. The only thing they grabbed was a plant that had been part of the family for 17 years.
Ahmed said, “We decided to take it to remember that we lived here, our children grew up here, and that we are looking forward to returning to the house.”
Ahmad and his siblings experienced eviction from the house in 2016. Until Nora and her husband can find a permanent place, they plan to stay with their children.
Outside the block of apartments, a dozen protesters gathered, shouting “Occupation no more”.
This tragic event was straight-up ethnic cleansing happening in real time. Jewish settlers were proud to do so as they gathered outside, smiling and dancing while staring at the distressed family. Water was poured down on the family members from above the building by Jewish settlers.
Reports indicate that Nora Ghaith-Sub Laban was in the hospital when the police arrived.
She said, “My tears and all my crying are just sadness for losing my home; I’m parting with my entire life and all my memories that are in this house. But I’m not weak.”
Nora further said, “I can’t sleep; I can’t eat.” The apartment had been her home since she was born in 1955. She described how her Jewish neighbours made their lives unbearable by spitting and hurling stones and bottles at them. Israeli police worsened the situation. They made their way to the family’s door to keep a check on every person entering or leaving the house.
“This is a psychological war,” she said.
Evicting Palestinian Nora Ghaith-Sub Laban Was An Act of Jewish Settler-Colonial Apartheid Regime
Palestinian civil society and rights groups expressed their rage. They stated that “displacing the family is forcible transfer, which contributes to both a crime against humanity and a war crime under the Rome Statute.”
They further expressed that the eviction of Palestinians is the “result of the international community’s deliberate failure and unwillingness to take effective and meaningful measures.” These measures should aim to end Israel’s illegal occupation and settler-colonial apartheid regime.
This forcible eviction is widespread in the West Bank, particularly in Jerusalem and the old city. It is happening just steps away from Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest mosque.