Jewish owners lose case to Arab squatters

 The Israeli Supreme Court has overturned a Jerusalem District Court
ruling ordering the eviction of Arabs who live on a Jewish-owned
property in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. This is a landmark case, because squatters have for the first time been allowed to stay on in property that is not theirs rather than end up on the street. In previous cases, the Arab residents owned other property. Israel Hayom reports:  

 View of the Old City (Wikitravel.org)

Last month, Jerusalem District Court Presiding
Judge Aharon Farkash ordered that the home be evicted by Feb. 12, but
the Arab residents illegally squatting on the property appealed to the
Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger
overturned Farkash’s ruling and said that “the home in question is the
residents’ only place of residence and an eviction order would
effectively mean throwing them out on the street.”

The Arab residents had questioned the validity
of the property titles presented by the Jews who claim ownership to the
home, but the Jerusalem District Court rejected their claim.

Danziger ruled that “no one disagrees that the
[Jewish] respondents have the right to exercise their rights to the
property rights, as per the [district] court’s ruling even while the
appeal in being heard, but given that an eviction would cause
irreparable damage, the court must find in favor of the plaintiffs.”

Danziger also denied the demand made by the Jewish property owners to receive payment from the Arabs using the property.

“I have come to the conclusion that a stay of the eviction is
warranted, as it would spell the demolition of the structures in which
the plaintiffs reside, which would be irreparable and cause them
tremendous harm,” he ruled.

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E.Jerusalem home restituted to Jewish owners

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