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The Story of the 19th-century Palestinian Jerusalem Hotel Fighting a Settler Takeover

'Every stone in this building means a lot to me,' says Abu al-Walid Dajani, who is fighting eviction from the hotel his family has run for 70 years

People walk past the Palestinian-run Imperial Hotel in Jerusalem, June 13, 2019.
AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean

Abu al-Walid Dajani, a 75-year-old Palestinian, is fighting the sale of his Jerusalem hotel to an organization that seeks to increase the Jewish presence in the Old City.

Palestinian fights settler NGO's takeover of Jerusalem hotelHaaretz

>> 'We go back 800 years': Palestinian fights settler NGO's takeover of Jerusalem hotel

"Every stone in this building means a lot to me," he told Haaretz of the hotel that his father first rented in 1949. Now that Israel's Supreme Court has ruled that the sale of the hotel by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate was legal, the Ateret Cohanim organization is seeking to evict Dajani. But he does not intend to leave without a fight, vowing to keep battling the ruling in court.  

The Patriarchate in Jerusalem filed suit this week seeking to overturn the ruling that the property, along with two others, had been legally sold, claiming that it has evidence showing that the sale of the properties was tainted by corruption on the part of representatives of Ateret Cohanim, and that Ateret Cohanim’s conduct was tantamount to that of a criminal organization.