Israel’s government is threatening to confiscate Palestinian homes, buildings and businesses in occupied East Jerusalem, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said on Tuesday.
The group said in a statement that the “disturbing” move by Israeli authorities was “unjust, unjust and illegal”.
“The Israeli authorities must ensure that the properties are not used to intimidate or coerce people, that they are not turned into military outposts, that Palestinian residents do not lose their homes or businesses and that no building or business is turned into a military outpost,” said B’Thelem’s head of campaigns, Hoda Mizrachi.
“Israel must ensure the rights of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem as it should be a matter of international law.”
According to the Israeli rights group, in December, the authorities issued orders to confiscates some 20,000 Palestinians’ homes in occupied east Jerusalem.
The government said that the move was “to stop the illegal evictions of Palestinian properties” and that it would not allow them to be sold without their approval.
The order followed an announcement in January that the authorities had confiscated an illegal outpost in east Jerusalem, located on the occupied Golan Heights, and ordered that it be demolished.
In its statement, B’thelem called on the Israeli government to “remove all illegal structures in East Eitam, and ensure that they do not be turned into outposts.”
In a separate statement, Mizrach told Al Jazeera that the Israeli army has been using the “unlawful, unlawful and disproportionate” eviction of Palestinians to “prevent the Palestinians from achieving their aspirations”.
“In addition to this, the illegal eviction of Palestinian residents from their homes, lands and businesses, which is in direct violation of international humanitarian law, has also been used to deny the Palestinians the right to live in their occupied territories,” she said.
“The occupation of the occupied Palestinian territories is also in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
She added that the use of the “right of return” in these evictions “is a violation of Israel’s obligations under international law”.
“Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem is a blatant violation of all international law, including the Fourth and Fifth Geneva Conventions,” she added.
“Israeli forces have been indiscriminately killing Palestinian civilians and unlawfully evicting Palestinian homes in East Ramallah, with no clear evidence that the Palestinian residents are the victims of the violence or the aggressors.”
In the past month, Israeli forces have demolished nearly 200 Palestinian homes and businesses belonging to Palestinians in east and central Jerusalem.
In January, Israel demolished more than 70 homes and dozens of businesses in east-central East Jerusalem.