0625 GMT April 18, 2019
An AFP photographer said residents of the neighborhood in occupied East Al-Quds scuffled with police, who stood guard as about a dozen Israeli settlers took possession of the large building, aljazeera.com reported.
Rania Abu Assab, who lived in the house with her husband, their children and his aunt, stood weeping outside as the settlers raised the Israeli flag on the roof.
“We live there; it’s my house; it’s my whole life,” she said. “They took everything.”
She said the family was compelled to leave behind all their furniture and belongings. Her husband Hatem and son Mehdi were arrested by Israeli forces after they were physically assaulted, witnesses said.
“They disturbed police activities,” an Israeli police spokesperson told AFP but could not say if they were subsequently released.
Three generations had lived there
Palestinian sources said the Abu Assab family had lived in the home for three generations, since 1952.
Ir Amim, an Israeli watchdog group which monitors settlement activity in Al-Quds, reported on February 3 that the Abu Assab family had been served an eviction notice ordering them to vacate the property by February 28.
Israeli sources said the home originally belonged to a Jewish family that fled during the 1948 war which resulted in the founding of Israel.
East Al-Quds was occupied during that conflict by Jordan until the Six-Day War in 1967, when it was seized by Israel and subsequently annexed, moves that have never been recognized by the international community.
The Abu Assab family had lived in another neighborhood until 1948 before eventually moving to the home in question.
Israel’s Peace Now said in a statement on Sunday that under an Israeli law passed in 1950, Palestinians cannot return to homes they fled in 1948.
There is an estimated population of around 200,000 Israeli settlers living in occupied East Al-Quds, alongside about 250,000 original Palestinian residents.
Also, around 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the occupied West Bank.
International law views the West Bank and East Al-Quds as “occupied territories” and considers all settlements there illegal.