The popular resistance in Jerusalem, which spread all over the occupied Palestine, against the Zionist occupation forces’ project that aims at expelling the residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood from their homes and housing more settlers, succeeded in forcing the occupation to postpone the date that was scheduled for the so-called Israeli Court of Justice to decide about this case. It also succeeded in forcing the occupation decision-makers to change the course of the so-called march of flags, which aims to claim that Jerusalem is the unified capital of the occupation entity.
By Tamer Khorma
The importance of this popular resistance expresses itself in three major points.
First: it proved that the masses are able to confront and defeat the imperialist project of the “deal of the century”, which aimed to give legitimacy to the occupation in usurping Jerusalem from its original inhabitants, and annexing the West Bank, in the context of the ongoing Nakba.
Second: the resistance re-shed light on the unity of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause, as the Palestinians participated in it in all places of their presence in the occupied territories, including the occupied territories in 1948, such as Haifa, Jaffa, Nasser and Lod, as well as the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.
Third: the Palestinian uprising for Jerusalem unified the Arab masses, and the people of the region against the Zionist- imperialist project in the Middle East that embodied in the so called “Israel”. The masses took the streets in the capitals of many countries, such as: Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and even Yemen (the country which is still suffering the brutal war that has been waged against it by the reactionary Arabs’ regimes forces), supporting their Palestinian sisters and brothers.
The Zionist entity is still practicing its criminal brutality in Palestine in the context of the ongoing Nakba that has still continued since 1948. What is happening in Jerusalem is a clear expression of the doctrine of this occupation, which is based from the very beginning on expulsion the indigenous people from their homes, and the usurpation of their lands, to bring in more illegal settlers, and to expand in the region, as a military arm of global imperialism.
The Zionist occupation is trying to justify its practice in occupied Jerusalem through a set of laws established by the Knesset with the clear aim of Judaizing Jerusalem, among them the Judicial and Administrative Systems Law (1970) that was drawn up after the occupation of the city in 1967, and was amended in 1973. This law aims, among other things, to regulate the looting of Palestinian property, and impose the state’s control over it, based on the “Absentees’ Property Law” of 1950 which applies only to the people of Jerusalem. These Israeli laws also established mechanisms for “returning” the “property” of Jews who lived in East Jerusalem and left it during the 1948 war.
However, statistics estimate the number of Jews who lived on the eastern side of the city before the Nakba at two thousand compared to about sixty thousand Palestinians who lived in the western neighborhoods of the city such as Talbiya, Qatamun and Baqa’a in the area that is now classified as West Jerusalem and who were displaced in 1948, prevented from returning and had all their properties confiscated and transferred to the custody of the absentees’ property.
According to the Israeli law adopted by the occupation courts in adjudicating property issues in East Jerusalem, the law of restitution of property applies only to East Jerusalem, in other words: only to the Jews. In the event that the case concerns a Palestinian who holds Israeli citizenship and has property in West Jerusalem, and his property has been seized, the law does not apply to him and is dealt with in accordance with the “1950 Absentee Property Law”. This is the case of tens of thousands of displaced people in the occupied lands since 1948 who did not leave the country and hold Israeli citizenship and who were deprived from restoring their property.
Moreover, the houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood were built by the Jordanian government to house the Palestinian refugees, who were forced to leave their houses during the war. The Jordanian government announced recently that they submitted all the documents proving this to the Palestinian Authority, while the Zionist occupation still claims that these homes belonged to the Jews in origin what, of course, is another shameless lie.
However, the struggle of the Palestinian masses, supported by the working class solidarity, on both regional and international levels, is the only way to confront and defeat the Zionist project based on seizing more lands, expelling its inhabitants, and bringing in more settlers with the aim of expanding in the region as an expansionist arm of imperialism.
This struggle that unified all the Palestinian masses in the occupied lands, including those of 1948, and had the unconditional support of the working class of the region, proves again the failure of the so called “two-state” solution. It proves that the only way out is an ongoing anti-racist, anti-capitalist, and anti-imperialist revolution for freeing Palestine from the river to the sea.
Moreover, historically the armed involvement of the Palestinian resistance fractions encouraged the Palestinian masses all over the occupied lands to confront the Zionist police and armed forces almost in every Palestinian city in the occupied territories since 1948. Al Lod, for example, witnessed a night of semi absolute freedom, as all the Zionist forces and settlers evacuated from the streets. The resistance became more and more powerful, and all these signs refers to a third Palestinian Intifada that could be sparked from the river to the sea!