Jerusalem Court Postpones Decision on Palestinian Families' Eviction Appeal

Judges want to wait for a Supreme Court ruling in similar cases before deciding on seven families' eviction orders from their homes in East Jerusalem's Silwan, built on land owned by Jews before 1948

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Residents of Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem protest outside the court, May 2021.
Residents of Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem protest outside the court, May 2021.Credit: Emil Salman
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

The Jerusalem District Court decided on Friday to postpone its ruling in an appeal by seven Palestinian families against their eviction from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, suspending eviction orders until a ruling is handed down.

The judges set a December date for the next hearing and explained they want to wait until the Supreme Court rules in two similar cases, concerning homes in the same area of the city.

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The appeal was filed by seven families from the Batan al-Hawa area of Silwan, where they have lived for decades on land that was owned by Jews before Israel was founded in 1948. The land is currently owned by a historic religious trust, which for the last 20 years has been controlled by the Ateret Cohanim settler organization.

So far, few Palestinian families have been evicted from that area, while dozens of other families are waiting for the Israeli courts to decide in their cases. Overall, this affects some 700 Palestinian residents of that area, who could face imminent eviction.

East Jerusalem neighborhood of SilwanCredit: Emil Salman

The decision announced on Friday comes after a Wednesday hearing, which was held while dozens were protesting outside the courthouse. Fifteen European diplomats also showed up at the court.

Tensions in the city remain high following weeks of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters, a wave of Jewish-Arab violence, and the threat of the eviction of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, also in East Jerusalem.

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