The Jerusalem District Court postponed indefinitely on Friday an appeal decision on the expulsion of dozens of Palestinians from their homes in the Silwan district in east Jerusalem. As a result, the verdict was delayed that some fear might rekindle the city’s bustling spirit.
The judges decided they would await trial until the Supreme Court decides a similar appeal to other eviction orders in Silwan. The top court will convene on that only in December. This means that the delay announced on Friday has resulted in a second Silwan case going out next year.
The expulsion of 19 families in Silwan’s Batan al-Hawa district, including the case discussed on Wednesday. Currently being considered by the Israeli court.
Both cases relate to claims about houses currently occupied by Palestinians. But it was owned by Jews before Jordan occupied East Jerusalem during the War of Independence in 1948.
Similar case in Sheijarrah which is another Palestinian district east of Jerusalem. It sparked protests and violent police crackdowns in early May. Unrest has erupted in the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip this month.
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At the hearing on Wednesday The district court said it would issue a ruling on the appeal “soon”, while lawyers representing Palestinian families appealed to Attorney General Avichai Mandellit to look into the case.
At the trial on Friday The judge said Mandelblit had been ordered to issue a legal opinion in a similar Supreme Court case and that was enough.
The expulsion is based on a 1970 Israeli law that allowed Jews to reclaim land in East Jerusalem that Jews owned before 1948.
There was no similar law for Palestinians losing their homes in what is now Israel during the 1948 war, and the Knesset passed a law in 1950 prohibiting them from reclaiming lost property.
According to Ir Amim, a leftist human rights group focused on Jerusalem, about 200 families in East Jerusalem are under similar threat, with cases moving slowly through Israel’s administrative bodies and courts.
Palestinians and members of the international community accuse Israel of trying to “Judaiz” East Jerusalem by slowly expelling hundreds of families. and replace them with Jewish families. Israel asserts that East Jerusalem is part of the undivided capital. and Jews moving into the neighborhood are legal.
Silwan’s assets are claimed by Israeli Jews, backed by Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing foundation that works to strengthen the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem.
Many Jewish communities today exist within the mostly Arab quarter of Silwan. on a steep hill directly south of the old town. The area is known in Hebrew as Siloah and contains the city of David. Archaeological site thought to be the heart of the Iron Age city dating back to biblical times.
15 European diplomats attended the hearing on Wednesday. to express concern over Israeli policies More than 100 Palestinians also protested outside the courthouse.
Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State Remind the Israeli leaders this week that Going forward with the eviction of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem may have triggered it. “Tensions, Conflicts, and War” anew.
While the secretary remained in Israel on Wednesday, the Supreme Court told Mandelblit he had until June 8 to submit a legal opinion on the appeals of four Palestinian families, more than 70, against their expulsion. Leaving the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has accused the Palestinian Authority of “Present real estate disputes between private parties as a nationalist cause. to incite violence in Jerusalem.”
In the weeks leading up to the 11-day war on the Gaza Strip that ended last Thursday. Sheijarrah has become the scene of many protests. with Palestinian protesters clashing with police.
Tension eventually erupted into the Temple Mount as well. And Hamas faced a wave of violence. It fired rockets into Jerusalem on May 10, leading to the IDF’s launch of Operation Guardian of the Walls.
Aaron Boxerman and Jacob Magid contributed to this report.