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Israeli Offensive: Court Orders Dozens of Palestinians Out of Jerusalem

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A Jerusalem court ordered last week, in two separate cases, the eviction of dozens of Palestinian residents from their homes in East Jerusalem. The beneficiaries will be settler associations who argued that the homes belonged to Jews before 1948.

According to Israeli law, returning property from before the 1948 war is permitted for Jews only, while Palestinians are ineligible to reclaim property abandoned before 1948. In both cases, right-wing activists had been working to expel the residents since acquiring the land or took control of an Ottoman-era trust.

Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Judge Efrat Eichenstein ruled that 26 members of al-Fatah Rajbi family living in the Baten al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan must hand over their homes to Ateret Cohanim. The family has lived there since 1966, after the grandfather bought the land from a Palestinian seller. However, the court accepted the claim of Ateret Cohanim representatives that Jews had owned the land before 1948 as part of a Yemenite neighborhood in Silwan.

The land had belonged to an Ottoman-era trust registered in the name of one Rabbi Moshe Benvenisti. The Jerusalem District Court granted the request by three Ateret Cohanim members to become trustees of the land in 2001. They have since sued some 700 Palestinians living on land belonging to the trust with the aim of having them evicted. In one of Ateret Cohanim’s many lawsuits, the court ordered the eviction of 11 families, numbering 67 people, from Baten al-Hawa. The families appealed before the Jerusalem District Court, which has yet to issue a final ruling.

Peace Now said following the decision: “For every dunam of land owned by Jews before 1948 that was lost in the war, there are hundreds of thousands of dunams of land in Israel that were owned by Palestinians before 1948 and were lost. The settlers’ demand to evict Palestinians based on pre-1948 ownership is a strategic threat on the moral justification of hundreds of thousands of Israelis living on properties and lands that had belonged to Palestinians.”

15דלגו 15 שניות קדימהלחצו כדי לנגן 15דלגו 15 שניות אחורה1xלחצו כדי לשנות את מהירות הניגון מ-1 ל-1.250:00– : —

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