Top Israeli court suspends evictions in flashpoint Jerusalem district

by mcardinal


Israel‘s top court halted on Tuesday the planned evictions of four Palestinian families from a flashpoint East Jerusalem neighborhood pending clarification of claims on their homes.

The Palestinians had contested a lower court ruling in favor of settlers who say the families are living on land that used to belong to Jews in territory Israel captured in a 1967 war and later annexed in a move not recognized internationally.

The families have questioned the legitimacy of the claimants’ documents, turning the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood into a microcosm of the Israel/Palestine conflict at large.

The Supreme Court ruled that the families would be accorded protected tenant status until Israel‘s Justice Ministry decides who has rights to the homes. No timeline was given for that, but the ruling suggested it could take years: It ordered each family to pay an annual symbolic sum in rent into an escrow account.

Justice Ministry responsibility for resolving the matter would involve the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, whose coalition includes an Arab Islamist party and was formed after Sheikh Jarrah tensions helped ignite a Gaza war last May.

A fact sheet on the neighborhood dispute can be found here.

Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters (Edited for FISM News by Michael Cardinal)