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Israel prepares to evict Palestinian family in Jerusalem

March 16, 2015 12:02 P.M. (Updated: March 18, 2015 9:08 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces surrounded a Palestinian home in the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday in preparation to evict the family from the property, the owners told Ma'an.

Rafat Sub Laban told Ma'an that Israeli forces surrounded the property in the Old City early Monday and ordered the family to leave the house.

The family refused, and Israeli forces brought in equipment to remove the front door.

The family's lawyer managed to delay the eviction for two hours in order to obtain a court order to halt the evacuation.

The Sub Laban family rented the property in 1956 from the Jordanian government and since that time have been paying rent as "protected tenants," Rafat said.

Following the Israeli occupation in 1967, rental contracts with the Jordanian government were taken over by the Israeli authorities, specifically the Custodian of Absentee Property. These contracts are renewed annually until the Custodian objects.

Settler group Ateret Cohanim filed a petition in 2010 claiming that the Sub Laban property was empty. The family have repeatedly filed appeals against the decision, and a local Israeli court is expected to rule in May.

The property was originally inhabited by Jewish residents before the 1948 war.

Ateret Cohanim actively works to settle as many Jews as possible in densely populated Palestinian areas in and around the Old City.

East Jerusalem was militarily occupied by Israel in 1967, and was later annexed in a move considered illegal by the international community.

Around 200,000 Jewish settlers currently live in a Jewish-only settlements that have been built between and around Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, part of the 550,000 Jewish settlers that have moved into the occupied Palestinian territories.
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