Ottawa woman's parents facing eviction in Jerusalem
OTTAWA -- Several Palestinian families have been ordered to leave their home in Jerusalem.
Born and raised in Jerusalem, Rasha Budeiri has been in close contact with her parents in Ottawa as the conflict continues to grow.
"Things have been the way they are since 1948, since 1967 and nothing changed," Budeiri said. "It’s getting worse."
Budeiri’s parents are one of several Palestinian families who have been ordered to leave their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.
"This is their home and this is the only home they knew," said Budeiri. "It’s very hard to know it can be taken away."
The house has been in her mother’s family since the 1950s.
"I cannot imagine. I can leave this lovely house," said Samira Dajani. "My parents house, my brothers' memories, our nice daily life."
The house, which holds generations of the family's memories, is also in the centre of Jerusalem.
"You can consider it the heart of Jerusalem,” said Dajani. "Very sensitive area."
The evictions follow a decades-long legal battle waged by Jewish settlers against them and their neighbours.
But Israel says the situation is a private real-estate dispute that the Palestinians have seized upon to incite violence.
Israeli rights groups estimate more than 1,000 Palestinians are at risk of being evicted.
Settler groups say the land was owned by Jews prior to the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation.
Budeiri’s parents are one of 28 families ordered to leave by Aug. 1. A supreme court hearing in the case of another four families has been postponed for at least a month.
Budeiri’s father, Adel said it’s not just them that have no other place to go, but many families.
"Our fathers and mothers were made refugees in 1948," he said. "When the first of August comes we will find ourselves refugees for a second time."
Meanwhile in Ottawa, Budeiri tries to hope for the best.
"As a Canadian, I hope that my government also takes tangible steps and stand-up for human rights," she said. "These are my ancestors and this is our land. We know nothing but these homes."