Wednesday, Dec. 12
Latest News
  1. Israeli forces detain two Palestinian brothers from Jenin
  2. Israeli forces detain Palestinian student in Nablus-area village
  3. Israel extends detention of Palestinian journalist
  4. Israeli forces raid al-Quds University
  5. PLO holds Israel responsible for assassination calls against Abbas
  6. Israel demolishes Palestinian-owned garage in East Jerusalem
  7. Over 20 Palestinians injured during Ramallah raids
  8. Israeli forces detain 7 Palestinians across West Bank
  9. Israeli forces shoot, injure 5 Palestinians in Ramallah
  10. Violent clashes erupt as Israeli forces raid Beit Ummar

Palestinian family in Jerusalem Old City faces eviction to make room for Jewish housing

May 31, 2016 3:11 P.M. (Updated: May 31, 2016 6:51 P.M.)
Palestinian family ordered to evacuate their house in the Saadiyya neighborhood in East Jerusalem's Old City (MaanImages)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- An Israeli district court in Jerusalem rejected on Tuesday a Palestinian family's appeal after Israeli authorities ordered them to evacuate their house in the Saadiyya neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, in order to make room for Jewish housing managed by the right-wing settler organization Ateret Cohanim.

The lawyer for the Qirrish family, Muhannad Jubara, told Ma’an that Palestinian owners rented the house to the Qirrish family. However in 1986, the Palestinian owners surreptitiously sold the property to Ateret Cohanim.

According to Jubara, the family falls under “protected status,” which refers to certain Palestinians in East Jerusalem who held rental agreements with the Jordanian government before 1967, when Israel occupied the Palestinian territory.

The leaseholder is considered a protected tenant for three generations. However, when the last family member of the third generation dies, the family loses the status, Jubara said.

The Palestinian owners of the property attempted to evict the Qirrish family in 1988 following the transfer of the property to Jewish ownership, but lost the case due to the family’s protected status. However, ten years later, Ateret Cohanim filed a case against the family.

In 2009, the last living member of the Qirrish family's third generation died, stripping them of their protected status, Jubara added.

Mazin Qirrish told Ma’an that in July 2010 Israeli settlers seized parts of the house. Following the settler takeover, an Israeli court ruled that the family had to evacuate the property completely.

The eviction order was reportedly approved by both the Jerusalem district court and Israel’s Supreme Court.

Ateret Cohanim is an Israeli pro-settlement nonprofit organization -- receiving tax-deductible donations from the United States through their financial intermediary American Friends of Ateret Cohanim -- which focuses on “Judaizing” East Jerusalem through a Jewish reclamation project working to expand illegal settlements and facilitate Jewish takeover of Palestinian properties across the “Green Line” into Palestinian territory.

Ateret Cohanim, along with other pro-settler organizations, commonly uses Israel’s 1970 Legal and Administrative Matters law to evict Palestinians from their homes. According to the law, Jewish individuals are allowed to claim ownership of property if they can prove the property was under Jewish ownership before 1948.

However, the law only applies to Jews and does not apply to Palestinians who were dispossessed of their lands and properties during and after the establishment of Israel in 1948, despite their right being upheld in international law in UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

Ateret Cohanim has forced out several Palestinian families from properties which were owned by Jewish families before 1948, with some 30 families currently threatened with eviction in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Batan al-Hawa, as hundreds of Palestinians are targeted through discriminatory legal channels.

The organization has also worked to purchase property from Palestinians to increase Jewish presence in East Jerusalem while deterring Jewish families from selling property to Palestinians.

Israeli watchdog Peace Now said on Tuesday that settlers affiliated with Ateret Cohanim had doubled in population size in the Batan al-Hawa neighborhood over the past year and were expected to see more construction approved in the area of Silwan this week.

There are an upwards of 300,000 Israeli settlers residing in East Jerusalem, as the settler population in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem continues to increase at a faster rate than the population in Israel.

The presence of Israeli settlers in occupied Palestinian territory is considered illegal under international law according to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Palestinian family ordered to evacuate their house in the Saadiyya neighborhood in East Jerusalem's Old City (MaanImages)

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015