The Israeli Supreme Court suspended four Palestinian families’ appeals against their forced expulsion from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Occupied East Jerusalem, because the families stated that they had rejected the court’s offer to let them be “susceptible”. “Protected tenants” stayed on the proposal, but recognized Israeli ownership.
The case heard on Monday involved Four Palestinian families, The total number is about 70 people.
The lower Israeli courts have approved the expulsion of these four families to make way for Jewish settlers. They ruled that their house was built on land owned by the Jews before Israel was established in 1948.
But considering the residents’ final appeal, the court recommended an agreement to grant them the status of “protected tenants” that they would recognize Israel’s ownership of the house and pay a nominal annual rent, but they refused.
Justice Isaac Amit asked for further documents and stated that “we will announce the decision later,” but did not set a date.
Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdul Hamid reported in a West Jerusalem court that the judge gave Palestinian families the option to sign a document stating that the land belongs to Jewish settlers.
“In return, they guaranteed the rent in this house for the next three generations,” Abdul Hamid said.
“They put a lot of pressure on us to reach an agreement with the Israeli settlers that we will rent from the settler organization,” said Mohamed Kurd from one of the four Palestinian families at the heart of the case.
“Of course, it was rejected,” he said.
Sami Ershied, a lawyer representing Palestinian families, also told Al Jazeera that the proposal was unacceptable.
“So far, we have not heard a proposal that is fair enough and protects the rights of residents. Therefore, we have not reached any compromise,” Ershid said.
However, he said the hearing was “a big step forward.”
“The judge said they will invite us for a second hearing. They have not yet rejected our appeal; this is a good sign,” he said.
“We hope that the judges will continue to listen to our arguments and consider all the new details we have submitted, and finally come to a conclusion that is beneficial to the residents of Sheikh Jala,” he said.
Ershied added that the court will decide when the next hearing will be scheduled, which may take place within weeks or months.
The Supreme Court was originally scheduled to issue a ruling in May, but postponed the ruling after the attorney general asked for more time to consider the case.
This Threatened eviction In April and May, the protests were severely suppressed by Israeli security forces and posed a test of Israel’s new ruling coalition, which includes three parties that support reconciliation and a small party representing Israeli Palestinian citizens. In order to unite, the government tried to put the Palestinian issue aside to avoid internal division.
The weeks of unrest — highlighted by the harsh measures the Israeli police used against the residents and demonstrators who supported them — attracted the attention of the international community. 11 days of Israeli bombing The Gaza Strip besieged in May.
The ceasefire went into effect on May 21, but the long-term campaign of Jewish settlers to expel dozens of Palestinian families continues.
Settlers have been engaged in a decades-long campaign to expel these families from the densely populated Palestinian community outside the old city walls, which is located in one of the most sensitive areas of occupied East Jerusalem.
The settlers claimed that these houses were built on land owned by the Jews before the war surrounding Israel in 1948. Israeli law allows Jews to take back these properties, while Palestinians who lost their land and homes in the same conflict deprived this right.
Jordan controlled East Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967. Families who became refugees during the 1948 war stated that the Jordanian authorities provided them with homes in exchange for abandoning their refugee status.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, and annexed it in an internationally unrecognized move. The two-state solution proposed in the 1993 Oslo Agreement envisaged these three areas as part of the Palestinian State.
In 1972, the settler group told these families that they were invading Jewish land. This was the beginning of a protracted legal battle that ended in recent months with the expulsion of Sheikh Jarrah and 36 families from two other neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.
Human rights groups say that other families are also vulnerable, and it is estimated that more than 1,000 Palestinians are at risk of being deported.
Abdul Hamid said: “Regardless of the judge’s rules on settlers and Palestinian families, they will set the tone for what happens next.”