Ir Amim Addresses the UNSC on Impending Palestinian Displacement from East Jerusalem

4 August 2021
On July 28, 2021, Ir Amim was invited by the French Presidency of the United Nations Security Council to address the Council on the heightened measures of displacement simultaneously facing four East Jerusalem Palestinian communities. The briefing was held at a critical juncture in lead up to various court decisions expected in August, which could significantly accelerate these measures.

In her address to the council, Ir Amim Executive Director, Dr. Yudith Oppenheimer, detailed the threat of mass eviction of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah and Batan al-Hawa, Silwan and described the home demolitions looming over residents of Al Bustan, Silwan and Al Walajeh. Together, these processes threaten to uproot over 3000 Palestinians from their homes and communities in East Jerusalem due to a system of discriminatory laws and policies employed by Israel.  

Dr. Oppenheimer noted that, "beyond the geopolitical implications, these measures severely violate Palestinian rights to housing and the right to family and community life as an occupied minority group protected under International Law. The Israeli government presents their actions as legitimate within the framework of its democratic and legal institutions. However, these institutions are largely inaccessible to East Jerusalem Palestinians who are devoid of political rights and the power to participate in the legislative and policymaking processes which govern their lives."
These measures not only violate the rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem, but also contravenes International Law and UN resolutions, while destabilizing conditions for an agreed resolution based on a two-state framework with two capitals in Jerusalem.

Dr. Oppenheimer concluded by stating that the "Israeli government must be urged to:

  1. Immediately cease all demolitions and evictions of Palestinian families
  2. Advance proper urban planning and equitable housing policies in East Jerusalem
  3. Ensure the provision of fair and adequate services to all of the city's residents
  4. Safeguard both peoples' rights to their homes and the city and recognize their historic, religious and political attachments to Jerusalem.
  5. Engage with the Palestinian national leadership and together, with the support of the international community, foster conditions for a sustainable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2334."
To read the full text of Dr. Oppenheimer's speech, click here.
To view a recording from the Council session, link here. The speech begins at the 21:40 timecode.