New Update: A Bigger Legal Victory in Sheikh Jarrah
Last week, we shared with you some positive news on the indefinite postponement of the Salem family’s eviction from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. This week, we’re pleased to deliver a second, even more hopeful, update regarding evictions.
This past Tuesday, Israel’s Supreme Court accepted the petition of four Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah to freeze their eviction and allow them to remain in their homes pending further appeal concerning their properties’ ownership.
Just as important as the ‘stay of eviction’ itself was the unprecedented reasoning behind it: For the first time ever, the Court suggested that there are political and historical factors that should be taken into consideration, beyond the question of who owned the properties prior to the war in 1948. Such factors include the Jordanian government’s expropriation of the land in the 1950s in order to house Palestinian refugees, and the explicit guarantees provided by Jordan to the families in question—factors that give the Palestinian families legitimate claims to their homes according to the justices.
What’s more, the court’s new framing of the case is likely to have legal impact on a large number of other eviction cases in East Jerusalem—and not just in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, but in the flashpoint neighborhood of Silwan, just outside the Old City, as well.
There is no guarantee, of course, that the Court will eventually find in favor of the Palestinian families. But, thanks to the efforts of Palestinians, Israelis, and folks around the world, the ground seems to be shifting in a positive direction.
Partners for Progressive Israel is proud to be part of the international effort to stop the evictions. We will continue to monitor this important situation and share updates with you from time to time.