Jimmy Carter AP
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, Oct 21, 2010. Photo by AP
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Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter arrived in the country on Friday to show support for the left-wing demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah. The demonstrators, who gather in the East Jerusalem neighborhood every week, have been protesting the court-ordered eviction of Palestinian residents as well as the entry of Jews into the area based on claims of prior ownership.

Carter said that the while the evictions may have been carried out in accordance with Israeli law, they were a violation of international law. If the law allows families to be evicted from their homes, he asserted, that constitutes discrimination.

The former president's visit is part of an effort by The Elders, an organization made up of former statesmen who work together to tackle issues involving human rights. Carter's delegation also included former Irish president Mary Robinson.

Carter told the demonstrators in Sheikh Jarrah that he supported their protest against what he said was an injustice, adding that no one could claim the demolition of someone's home or the eviction of someone who has lived in a home for generations represents peace or justice.

When asked about the purpose of his visit, Carter said it was to ensure that the occupation ends quickly and that Palestinian rights are honored.