Evictions in Contested Tel Aviv Neighborhood Postponed Indefinitely

Ran Shimoni
Ran Shimoni
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A view of the Tel Aviv neighborhood of Givat Amal Bet.
A view of the Tel Aviv neighborhood of Givat Amal Bet. Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Ran Shimoni
Ran Shimoni

A day before the scheduled eviction of residents from north Tel Aviv’s Givat Amal Bet neighborhood, it was postponed indefinitely. The orders delivered to families by the Enforcement and Collection Authority were to have been activated between August 10-17, but those responsible for the eviction said they were not ready.

“If there is something, it will certainly to be now. There’s nothing on the agenda,” a source told Haaretz. According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the police, the enforcement agency and the developer, Elad Israel Residence, all sought to delay the evictions. At the same time, the Knesset is working on a compensation plan for the residents.

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Last month eviction orders were delivered to five building lots in Givat Amal Bet, containing the homes of 15 of the 45 families that have lived there for years.

The orders were issued by the Tel Aviv District Court, which ruled in early 2020 that all the residents must leave, in exchange for a combined payment of 42 million shekels (about $13 million) from Elad, which is owned by Yitzhak Tshuva.

In April, Tel Aviv sold its rights to 120 apartments in two towers in Givat Amal to the Hagag Group, Y.H. Damari Construction and Development and the developer Daniel Tsarfati for 365 million shekels. Hagag and Damari also bought the area Elad Israel sold for 361 million shekels. Despite the change of ownership, the agreements signed between the residents and the city in 2014 oblige it to be responsible for the eviction of the residents.

After the eviction orders were issued the residents launched protests, claiming that the compensation doesn’t reflect the injustice to them ever since the state housed them there in 1948, and does not reflect the present value of the property. The court accepted this argument, and raised the compensation from 34 million shekels to 42 million shekels. According to the last ruling, the residents of the neighborhood had no further right to appeal, and the court’s decision was final. The residents claim that the new amount still doesn’t reflect the value of the land.

In a letter to the director of the Enforcement and Collection Authority, Tomer Moskowitz, MK Naama Lazimi (Labor Party) requested that the eviction orders be frozen until a negotiated agreement could be reached. In addition to Meretz MK Gaby Lasky, who initiated the letter, and coalition chair Idit Silman (Yamina) three cabinet ministers signed it – Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli (Labor), Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) and Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton (New Hope). They cited what they said was the prevention by the state and the city of efforts to have the residents’ rights to the land recognized.

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