It's the end of a 24-year legal battle. A Jerusalem court this week ordered the eviction of a Palestinian family from her home in the Silwan district of East Jerusalem. This family will have to leave and Israeli settlers will move in their place.
From our correspondent in Jerusalem ,
The tug of war between the Siyam family and the Elad organization began after a death in 1991. The deceased owned a property in the Silwan district of East Jerusalem, the city's historic basin located at the foot of the Esplanade. Mosques and the Western Wall. Elad is an Israeli organization that claims to want to preserve King David's Bible City and carry out what it calls a " residential revitalization ." To do this, it buys housing in this Palestinian neighborhood of Jerusalem and installs Jewish families there .
On the death of this woman, her children inherited the house: eight heirs in all. Three sold their shares in the early 1990s to a buyer who sold the newly acquired property himself. A fourth has sold directly to the organization. In the end, half of the property became Elad's property.
The state can appropriate the property of absentees
The arm wrestling then focused on the share inherited by two girls who no longer live in Jerusalem. One is based in Jordan, the other in Saudi Arabia. And Israel enforced a law passed in 1950, after the first war against Arab countries, described as an Israeli war of independence. This led to the exodus of more than 700,000 Palestinians. And Israel then passed a law confiscating the property of the Palestinians' property, whether by force or by force, to an enemy country. The phrase, at the time, included all neighboring countries.
In the case of the Siyam family, the state enacted this law to obtain ownership of the two sisters' shares, a quarter of that residence. But the state then auctioned its shares between the two occupants: the Siyam family and the Elad organization. The second, richly endowed, was more generous in his proposal. The purchase of these shares by Elad has just been confirmed by a court in Jerusalem. The organization and the Israeli Ministry of Finance, which manages the Custody of Absentees, the body responsible for the administration of confiscated property, claim to have complied with the law. The Jerusalem court has just proved them right. But the use of the "law of the absent" in Jerusalem is debated. A panel of senior judges considered that it should be done sparingly in the city. In the Silwan district, some 100 Palestinian families are threatened with deportation, most of them under the "Absentee Law".
A wall to separate property between settlers and Palestinian
In this case, children of the two sisters who are considered to be absent live in Jerusalem, a son and a daughter. Both were denied property of their mother's property. The man does not live on the spot, but the woman, she is installed in this house with her 4 children. She must now leave. And only a quarter of the property remains today in the Siyam family. He is one of the grandchildren of the deceased who lives there. A wall must now be built to separate its part of the rest of the property that will be inhabited by Israelis.