The United Nations Human Rights Office in the Occupied Palestinian Territories has expressed grave concern over the impending forced eviction of the Ghaith-Sub Laban family from their residence in the Old City of East Jerusalem on 11 June.
Despite attempts to secure their home, an Israeli High Court ruling has determined that the elderly couple, Nora Ghaith, 68, and Mustafa Sub Laban, 72, must end their protected tenancy, thus allowing Galicia Trust, a settler organization that has been engaged in a legal battle since 2010 to remove the Sub Laban family, to seize the property.
The UN Human Rights Office stated that the eviction of the Sub Laban family is part of a larger trend of Palestinians being unlawfully removed from their homes in East Jerusalem due to discriminatory laws and practices which breach their human rights.
These evictions lead to loss of property and income, and can contribute to the creation of an environment which might lead to forcible transfer, which is a violation of international humanitarian law and could be seen as a war crime, the UN Human Rights office said.
It requested the Israeli occupation to cease any activity that could create a coercive atmosphere and result in the forced displacement of people, particularly the Ghaith-Sub Laban family, and to immediately stop all forced evictions.
An Israeli enforcement officer gave Nora Ghaith and her husband, Mustafa Sub Laban, a notice of eviction on Thursday, 11 May, stating that they must leave by Sunday, 11 June.
The elderly couple are being forcibly removed from their home in the Aqbat al-Khalidiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem, which will now be taken over by a settler association.
For over 45 years, the Jordan-based Ghaith-Sub Laban family home had been under a protected lease.
Despite this, the Israeli authorities and, since 2010, the Galicia settler association have continually harassed the family and initiated lawsuits, claiming that the property was a Jewish endowment.
As a result, the courts decided to terminate the family’s lease and evict them from their home.
The other members of the family were already evicted in 2016, and the children were not allowed to live with their parents, causing the family to be separated.
If the family fails to follow the eviction order and vacate their residence prior to the specified date, which they have refused to accept, then the Israeli settlers, backed by the government and the occupation forces, will be forced to remove the elderly couple from their home on the said date, at an exorbitant cost to them and their possessions.