Palestinians evicted from Jewish-owned home in eastern Jerusalem

Israeli authorities returned property in Jerusalem to their legal Jewish owners after seven decades of Arab occupancy.

Israel on Tuesday reclaimed property in Jerusalem which a Jewish family lost almost 70 years ago when they were evicted by Jordan.

The home, owned by the Hubara family, and was situated in the Shimon Hatzadik, or Sheikh Jarah, neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem. The family fled their home when Jordanian forces captured that part of the city during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948.

Israel regained sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War.

A Palestinian family occupied the home, claiming to have lived in it since 1964. The court recognized their occupancy only since 1972.

An Israeli magistrate’s court, district court, and the Supreme Court have all ruled that the house was Jewish property, ending a legal battle which began in 2009.

Acting on court orders, Israeli police removed the illegal Palestinian occupants and loaded their belongings onto a moving truck.

Under Israeli law, if it can be proven that a home in eastern Jerusalem was owned by Jews before the War of Independence, the legal owners can demand that Israel’s general custodian office release the property and return it to them.

Tuesday’s eviction of Arabs from a Jewish-owned property was the first of its kind since 2008.

The extreme-left Peace Now organization criticized the eviction. “The settlers, with the backing of the government, are utilizing a discriminatory law in order to change the status quo and Israelize Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. The eviction of the Shamasna family, who resided in the house since 1964, is not only brutal but it is also indicating a dangerous trend that could threaten a future compromise in Jerusalem,” Peace Now stated.

In the 19th century, the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood was Jewish.

Israeli activists vowed to continue their quest to redeem more Jewish-owned homes in the area.

Neighborhood is ‘Going Through a Revolution’

In the next decade, some 400 Jewish families will live in the neighborhood, says Arieh King, director of the Israel Land Fund NGO and a Jerusalem city councilman.

“Sheikh Jarrah, or Shimon Hatzadik, is going through a revolution, and we will see its outcome in something like five years,” King told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. “We have now four main compounds that we are working on. In our next phase we plan to house families in two more compounds – one of 300 housing units and the other of 200 housing units. In about 10 years we will have in [the two sub-neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah] Shimon Hatzadik and Nahalat Shimon, some 400, maybe 500 Jewish families.”

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The Israel Land Fund locates Jews who owned land in east Jerusalem before 1948 and helps them to claim their property.

By: World Israel News Staff