The United Nations (UN) on Thursday condemned the eviction of two Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem.
According to a news release issued by the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), the two families were evicted following a court case brought against the families by an Israeli association.
The association reportedly plans to build housing units on the property, which is located in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. The property has now been sealed and the personal belongings of the families have been removed.
Deputy Special Coordinator as well as Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory Maxwell Gaylard called for an end to such violations, saying the evictions of Palestinians from their homes and properties in occupied territory contravene international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Members of the An Natsha family, who are registered refugees with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), have reported previous harassment and intimidation by settler groups, according to UNSCO.
UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for some five million registered Palestinian refugees in the region, pending a solution to their plight.
Senior UN officials, including the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, and the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, have repeatedly called for an end to Israel's eviction policy, while noting that the settlement of Israeli citizens in the occupied Palestinian territory is clearly prohibited under international law.