Land and Space
Forcible Home Expulsions
Palestinians living in East Jerusalem face a surreal threat: their city authorities want them gone, and they’re willing to resort to extreme and blatantly illegal means to expel them forcibly from their own homes, one by one. This dystopian phenomenon is examined here.
Featured in This Topic
The al-Qasem family home in Sheikh Jarrah, home to three generations, is a target for Jewish settlers.
Amal describes the unimaginable stress under which they and their family live in Sheikh Jarrah.
What does a forcible home expulsion actually entail?
After 30 years of loving care, Samira’s home and garden convey serenity, but she stands to lose it all if Israel expels her from her home.
The Story in Numbers
Jewish settlers live in East Jerusalem alongside 361,700 Palestinians 
Jewish settlers live in Palestinian buildings across East Jerusalem 
Approximate number of Palestinian property owners and tenants inside the Old City alone who have been forcibly expelled and displaced from their homes since 1967 
Palestinian homes and properties in the Old City have been expropriated by settler organizations, in conjunction with the Israeli government, since the 1970s 
Palestinians across East Jerusalem are at high risk of being forcibly expelled from their homes by Israeli occupation authorities 
A minimum estimate of the number of Palestinian households across East Jerusalem that have expulsion cases filed against them, the majority of which were filed by settler organizations (data from 2021) 
Number of Palestinian families who were forcibly expelled from their homes in Batn al-Hawa, an area in the neighborhood of Silwan, south of the Old City (to date) 
Number of Palestinian families who were forcibly expelled from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in the north of Jerusalem, since 2009 
 Omer Yaniv, Ytta Haddad, and Yair Assaf Shapira, Jerusalem Facts and Trends 2022 (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, 2022), 18. The 2020 statistics presented here are official Israeli extrapolations based on the most recent (2008) Israeli census and should be understood within the prevailing political context: Israel seeks to diminish the numbers of Palestinians in the city, specifically to keep their proportion versus the Jewish population below a certain threshold.
 Najla Shahwan, “Palestinians of East Jerusalem: A Silent Eviction,” Daily Sabah, March 2, 2021.
 “Ruling Palestine: A History of the Sanctioned Jewish-Israeli Seizure of Land and Housing in Palestine,” Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions and BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, May 2005.
 “The Palestinian Population Density in the Old City: The Protective Shield against Family Plans” [in Arabic], al-Hadath, July 1, 2021.
 “Al-Ruwaidi: Nearly 13,000 Jerusalemites Are Threatened with Forcible Expulsion from the Old City” [in Arabic], Quds Net News Agency, January 11, 2023.
 “’No Longer Afraid’: Palestinians Vow to Fight Jerusalem evictions,” Al Jazeera, May 29, 2021.
 Jerusalem Story database.
 Jerusalem Story database.
Zoheir Rajabeh, a resident of Batn al-Hawa in Silwan, lives in limbo, while Israeli settlement organizations work with authorities to force his family out of their home.
Mohammed El-Kurd, 14, narrates his experience of sharing his family home with the Jewish settlers who forcibly expelled the El-Kurds from the two-room extension they added in the 1990s.