Israeli Court allows settlers to take part of family home in Ras al-Amoud

Tuesday, 15 March, 2011 | 18:06

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — The Hamdallah family of Ras al-Amoud neighborhood in Silwan have been ensconsed in a legal battle over their home for the past 11 years. The family has fought in court to prevent Israeli settlers from taking over part of their house, with no success: on 14 March a force of settlers and their armed bodyguards are expected to enter their home.
While the Hamdallah family has owned the house for over 60 years, the Israeli Supreme Court issued their decision yesterday to evict the family from one room and a front yard of the property that the Municipality claims was built without a permit after 1989. Khalid Hamdallah, the legal owner of the house, stated in court and confirmed to Silwanic that the part of the house in question was built more than 35 years prior to 1989 and that the family plans to appeal the Supreme Court’s decision.
The Israeli judicial system has a long history of supporting the steady transfer of Palestinian properties to the hands of settlers under the “Law of Return”, which applies only to Jews. The famous Jewish American Irving Meskuvic, a championer of the settlement movement in Jerusalem, claims that the Hamdallah family house is built on land that he purchased from a Jewish owner in 1990, who in turn claimed to have owned the land before 1948. Now, based on the “Law of Return”, he claims, it should pass in to Jewish ownership once again.

Palestinian neighborhoods populated also by Israeli settlers living in formerly Palestinian homes experience a categorical increase in tension and clashes between Palestinians and Israelis, with hostilities already running high as Israeli plans for Judaization of the holy city made no secret.

Should the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Hamdallah house be implemented, the family, who numbers 17 people including 6 children, will face great risk of violent acts by the settlers who are expected to arrive at the property next Monday.

Israeli law does not recognise the right of return of the millions of Palestinians who were evicted en masse from their homes and land over the past 60 years since 1948, both within Israel proper and the now-occupied territories. International law, meanwhile, supposedly prevents the Israreli state from housing its residents in the eastern part of Jerusalem as it is occupied territory. On the ground, however, the Israeli courts frequently legitimise the prevalence of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, despite their illegality under international law.


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