Arabs evicted as Jews win back Jerusalem house (updated)

 Arabs and activists film the eviction (Hezki Baruch)

Update: dozens of media have published corrections to this story. It turns out that the evicted Arab tenants had not lived in the property prior to 1968. 
That year is critical given that in order for east Jerusalem Arabs
to receive “protected tenant” status, they must be able to demonstrate
that they signed a lease prior with Jordanian authorities and inhabited
the dwelling prior to August 20, 1968.

The eviction of the Arab Shamasneh family from a Jerusalem house in the Shimon Hatzaddik neighbourhood has been all over the press (See here, hereand here). The Israelis are being painted as heartless creatures who are throwing  elderly Arabs out on the street. But the judgement of the court only went against the Arab tenants when they ceased to pay rent. Another falsehood being spread by the press is that while Jews can reclaim their property, no such law exists enabling Palestinians to reclaim theirs. Not only have there been cases of Palestinians being compensated, but it is impossible for Jews to receive compensation for property they owned in Arab countries.

 Arutz Sheva reports:

Sixty-nine years ago, the Hubara family, a Jewish family living in
the heart of Jerusalem, was expelled from their home in the Shimon
Hatzaddik neighborhood by British and Arab forces as the Jordanian army
invaded and occupied the city during the early stages of Israel’s War of

The homes in the neighborhood had been purchased by the Sephardic and Ashkenazic communities in 1876.

Called ‘Sheikh Jarrah’ by the city’s Arab population, Shimon
Hatzaddik was emptied of its Jewish population, who became refugees
before any Palestinian Arabs did, and whose homes were then seized by
local Arabs.

When Israel liberated Shimon Hatzaddik in 1967, the Hubara family
found their home was occupied, like so many other Jewish-owned
properties in eastern Jerusalem.

For the next 38 years, the Hubara family’s home in Shimon Hatzaddik
remained in Arab hands, with the family unwilling to endure the lengthy
legal battles required to redeem the property.

In February 2005, tragedy struck. Shimon and Dalia Hubara’s
26-year-old daughter, Odelia, was murdered near a Tel Aviv beachfront in
a suicide bombing attack carried out by the Islamic Jihad terror group.

Following their daughter’s tragic death, the Hubaras decided to take
back what is rightfully theirs, turning to the Israel Land Fund for

Twelve years later, following a court order against the Arab
squatters for their refusal to pay rent or repair damage they had caused
to the property, police returned the Hubara home to its legal owners.

During Tuesday’s eviction, Arab squatters, aided by far-left activists, protested the eviction and threw cinder blocks at police.

Read article in full 

But the Hubara family had sold on the property to Arie King of the Israel Land Fund over 10 years earlier, according to Haaretz.  Dalia Hubara denies that revenge for the tragic death of her daughter Odelia  had prompted the Hubaras to be plaintiffs in the legal case to recover their house: 

Dalia Hubara says she feels very bad about Tuesday’s eviction of the Shamasneh family from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem. Hubara, one of the heirs to the house, told Haaretz she “does not like to see people removed from their homes, not Jews and not Arabs.”

Hubara inherited the building, a rather small house in the neighborhood, named in Hebrew Shimon Hatzadik, from her mother, who lived there until 1948. Over 10 years ago the family, who inherited the property, sold their rights to right-wing activist Aryeh King, today a member of the Jerusalem city council. They had wanted to sell the house to a Palestinian family before that, but the Palestinians could not raise the money needed, said Hubara.

“King and his friends got in touch with us and we thought it would be good to be rid of the property and sell it, she said. “I considered selling it to the people living there, my husband was in contact with them. We wanted to do it so what happened [Tuesday] would not happen. But they couldn’t manage to buy the house,” said Hubara. (…)

King said, “I’m not very happy that they threw them out on the street either. But they brought it on themselves. The original eviction date was in March 2015. But the woman who lived there was supposed to give birth and they asked for another three months. I told them take half a year and leave whenever you want in the next half year, but they continued to neglect and ignore it.

“Even in the last few weeks,” King continued, “we offered them another period until the father passes away, but I said I don’t trust them anymore because they have a debt of 180,000 shekels [about $50,000] for rent, and damage of another 160,000 shekels.” King says he told them if they provide a check from a guarantor he could trust, he would consider letting them stay longer, but they refused. It’s unpleasant, he said, but “they did everything possible so [the eviction] would happen.”

The elderly parents have no reason whatsoever to remain in the street because their daughter lives right next door, and there is evidence they will receive housing aid from the European Union, said King.

Read article in full

Lyn Julius at the Huffington Post and UK Media Watch


  • 1. Anyone can reclaim his property at anytime in Israel and the territories, whetherJew, Palestinian, Russian or Greek. In the case of absentee owner, the Custodian of Absentees manages the property for the absentee.

    2. A property can be confiscated in whole or in part, against compensation, only if the confiscation is for public use. The same law applies in any country. If the United States wants to build a freeway, it will confiscate property on its path, and pay compensation to the owner, whether he likes it or not.

    As far as returning houses, some are simply not returnable if they are falling in ruins.

  • Eliyahu, what you say is correct, there ought to be a penalty if one side was the aggressor and the other the victim. The winning side in a conflict used to be allowed to keep abandoned property as the 'spoils of war'. But human rights law now decrees that both sides are to be given equal property rights, restitution or compensation. Correct me if I'm wrong, there have been very few restitution cases in Jerusalem, simply because the Arab tenants' rights override the Jewish owners' rights. The tenants only forfeit their rights if they do not pay rent. The reverse would apply: if an Arab wanted restitution of his house in Jaffa the current residents' rights need to be taken into account. Of course there is always the 'compensation' option but the Palestinians are rejecting this for political reasons. As for Israelis who have lost property in Arab countries, they cannot even sue for compensation in the local courts. Therefore Jews have fewer rights than Arabs.

  • Alex writes: "Jews have claimed properties in Sheikh Jarrah."

    Jews have claimed properties in Shimon haTsadiq and the nearby Nahalat Shimon and Siebenbergen Houses Quarters, all of them populated by Jews up to 12/1947-1/1948. These areas were not called "Sheikh Jarrah" before the Arab conquest of 1948, maybe not until after June 1967. The use of "Sheikh Jarrah" for these areas is tendentious and indicates submission to Arab and pro-Arab terminology.

    Dan Bahat's historical atlas of Jerusalem calls Shimon haTsadiq Quarter by that name. Jews gave it that name becausse it is the location of Jewish tomb caves and the presumed tomb of Simon the Just.

  • There is a big difference in that the Arab side were the aggressors in 1947-48 when the Jews were driven out. The first refugees in that war were Jews in the Shimon haTsadiq and nearby Jewish quarters in Jerusalem that later became parts of "east Jerusalem." The first refugees in that war who could not go home after it were the Jews of Shimon haTsadiq Quarter.

    Furthermore, the Arab side renewed its aggression against Jewish civilians in Jerusalem in 1967. Not to mention the sniping that went on against Jewish civilians living close to the armistice line in the 19 years between 1948 and 1967. The aggressors should not be rewarded. Jews have been, by the way, the majority of the Jerusalem population since 1853, if not earlier.

    Article at link tells about the history of the location, of Simon the Just and of what happened in 12/1947-1/1948:

  • I think you chose the wrong examples, Alex: the inhabitants of Ikrit and Baram were offered compensation, even if not all accepted it. Salameh went to court and won $700,000 in compensation for his villa in Jerusalem.

  • It's not a lie. Palestinians can't reclaim their properties in Baka or Katamon in the way Jews have claimed properties in Sheikh Jarrah.

  • Extraordinary how you can put words into my mouth. I support compensation for both sets, and if you had been following this blog you would know about the campaign for the International Fund, which Clinton first proposed in 2000. People like Ben Yair have no regard for the rights of Jews, he is ignorant of what happened to Jews in Arab countries. You can't be taken seriously unless you talk about the rights of both sets of refugees.
    We NEVER hear a word of support from the likes of Ben Yair,the human rights industry and virtue-signalling Ashkenazim about the rights of Jews from Arab countries.
    I have already pointed out to you that there is no Israeli law against Palestinians getting compensation (but their own people bully them into rejecting it), and I have given you an example, why do you repeat that lie ?

  • I'm asking about your views. 1. Do you support Jews from the Middle East being able to claim property they lost when they were made refugees? 2. Do you support Palestinians being able to claim property they lost when they were made refugees?

    In any case, the reprehensible stance of Arab states towards Jews who were forced out does not justify Israeli law being applied to Jews and not to Palestinians, Ben Yair's views may not be representative, but that does not mean they are not correct. You don't have a single argument against them, other than your support for the position that Jews should be treated more favourably than Arabs. The question is why you choose to pretend otherwise.

  • Alex, it is quite the opposite. Show me single NGO or UN body which supports the rights of Jews to recover their properties in Arab countries.

    Most people do not treat Ben-Yair's views as representative.

  • If this happened in any other country, the government and courts would say "That property was stolen from you during a war that was forced on us? Then take it back. It's yours." Only in Israel, a Jew reclaiming what's rightfully theirs is more difficult than extracting teeth.

  • Jews claiming their property and doing it through proper legal channels to obtain what is rightfully theirs. Pre 1931 Silwan should also be rightfully claimed by the descendants of the Yemeni Jews who first settle in the East Jerusalem hills.

  • "Another falsehood being spread by the press is that while Jews can reclaim their property, no such law exists enabling Palestinians to reclaim theirs." So which law is it that allows Palestinians to reclaim their property?


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