The international community objected strongly as Israel moved settlers in and longtime Palestinian residents out.
Israel said the evictions were legal and mandated by a ruling of its supreme court. But the country's decision Sunday to forcibly remove two Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem – and to immediately usher in Jewish replacements – has complicated the prospects for successful peace talks any time soon.
On Monday, three people protesting the eviction were arrested by the police. The two families had lived in the homes for almost 50 years. They moved in to the neighborhood after being evicted from their homes in West Jerusalem in 1947 by Israeli forces.
Two families might not seem like much after a 50-year conflict that has displaced hundreds of thousands and cost countless lives. But they came in symbolically fraught East Jerusalem, where President Barack Obama has practically begged Israel to stop settlement expansion to give peace talks a chance. Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967 - a move that the international community has not accepted -- and Palestinians hope the eastern portion of the city will one day form the capital of their own independent state.