Palestinian Jerusalemite youth organizers’ detention extended as they resist deportation and expulsion

abueisheh-abusbeihTwo Palestinian Jerusalemite youth, Samir Hussam Abu Eisheh and Hijazi Abu Sbeih, have been imprisoned arbitrarily by the Israeli occupation since 6 January, when they were seized from their protest tent by occupation forces outside the International Committee of the Red Cross in Jerusalem. They were remaining in the tent in rejection of an Israeli military decree ordering their deportation from their home city of Jerusalem for five and six months, respectively.

On 14 March, they were briefly brought before an occupation military court where their detention was once again extended, this time until 6 April 2016. They continue to refuse their expulsion from Jerusalem.

As Samidoun reported when they were arrested,

The soldiers who stormed the protest tent were undercover “Mustaribeen” forces, disguised as Palestinians, who then captured the two young men, removing them from the tent. The two refuse to accept their expulsion from Jerusalem, linking it with the ongoing attempts in official Israeli policy to de-Palestinianize the city.

Ha’aretz reported that “The pair…are social activists who are well-known among young Palestinians in East Jerusalem. The two were behind a number of original protests in the east of the city, including a gathering of young people who drank coffee at the Old City’s Damascus Gate in protest of the erection of security barricades there, and an event featuring singing marchers…Their unorthodox approach is reflected in the fact that in the past Abu Sabih was arrested dressed as a tiger and as Mickey Mouse.” Their protest tent – like Khalida Jarrar’s before them – has become a center for activism, community meetings and cultural events for Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Israeli military orders are being issued banning Jerusalemite Palestinians from their home city, under Israeli occupation; as Samer Hussam notes, this month four Palestinian youth have been forcibly displaced from Jerusalem. This displacement follows upon the attempt to displace Khalida Jarrar from Ramallah to Jericho; the displacement of Daoud Ghoul and other young community leaders from Jerusalem; and the displacement ofPalestinian parliamentarians Mohammed Abu Teir, Ahmad Atoun, Mohammed Totah and Khaled Abu Arafah, among a number of other cases.

The forcible displacement of people under occupation is a blatant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and other international conventions. In addition to the targeted forcible expulsion of Palestinian activists from Jerusalem, Palestinians in Jerusalem have been subject to ongoing racist exclusion and attacks, and collective policies of displacement and ethnic cleansing, including the eviction of longtime Palestinian Jerusalemites from their homes in favor of illegal settlers; the stripping of Jerusalem IDs from Palestinians on individual and collective basis, particularly threatening the Palestinian refugees of Shuafat refugee camp; and the demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem.