JERUSALEM — The Israeli Supreme Court delayed on Sunday a decision on whether to expel six Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem after the attorney general requested more time, in part because of the tensions the case has stirred.
The court was to decide on Monday whether to uphold an expulsion order for the families in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, in a hearing that many feared would set off a wave of unrest. Instead, the case was delayed by up to 30 days to allow the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, to review it.
For many Palestinians, the families’ plight has become emblematic of a wider effort to remove Palestinians from parts of East Jerusalem and of the past displacements of Arabs in the occupied territories and within Israel.
Since the start of the month, the prospect of the evictions has prompted daily protests, arrests and confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli police and Jewish extremists.
form of apartheid and the United Nations rights agency says is a potential war crime.
“This isn’t just about the situation for my family,” said Mr. Skafi. “It’s about the situation for all Palestinians in East Jerusalem.”
Some city officials deny that the replacement of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers amounts to a strategy of displacement. Sheikh Jarrah “is not a political but a legal dispute” over land ownership, said Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, a deputy mayor of Jerusalem.
But others in the city leadership say it is part of a concerted effort to reinforce Jewish control of East Jerusalem and prevent it from being ceded in putative future peace negotiations to a Palestinian state.
Another deputy mayor, Aryeh King, said on Friday that it was “of course” part of a wider strategy of placing “layers of Jews” throughout the eastern half of the city. The goal, Mr. King said, is “to secure the future of Jerusalem as a Jewish capital for the Jewish people.”
Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed it.