In the latest of many cases, a Jerusalem court has ordered a property in East Jerusalem to be restituted to the Aricas, a Jewish family originally from Syria. They were among some 3,000 Jews evicted from East Jerusalem in 1948. Arutz Sheva reports:
The property in question: some 3,000 Jews were evicted from E. Jerusalem in 1948 (National Lands administration)
Jerusalem Magistrates Court Justice Anna Schneider ordered the evacuation of three East Jerusalem properties Tuesday, as they were found to have been purchased by Jews before 1948 but then invaded by Arabs.
The three properties in question were purchased in the thirties by the Arica family, Jews who immigrated to Israel from Syria. In 1948, the family fled after the Jordanians tried to kill and rape the sons and daughters of the family while the men fought on various fronts.
In 1967 the Administrator General of the Ministry of Justice began to manage the assets, and signed a contract with the Arabs who were squatters on the property between 1948 and 1967.
But the property was eventually restored due to the effort of Jerusalem City Council member Aryeh King.
“In the early 1990s, the Aricas’ assets were released from Administrator General supervision,” he explained. “In 2008, the family sold the building, as the Arabs who occupied it claimed they had been paying rent to the State of Israel since 1967.”
Later, a Jewish investment company, Shabali, acquired the property – and told the Arabs living there they must leave at the end of their rental agreement. The Arabs replied that a man named Meir Nadav from the Administrator General’s office had “guaranteed them use of the space for the next 20 years”; they submitted documents which were suspected to be falsified to the court.