Israeli Court Orders Eviction of East Jerusalem Family

12:00 Aug 2 2013 Sheikh Jarrah

JERUSALEM, August 1, 2013 (WAFA) – The Israeli Magistrate Court has recently ruled to evict a Palestinian family from its home in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood under the pretext the family was not a “protected tenant,” Kareem Siyam, who lives in the house, said Thursday.

The court was ruling on a Jewish settler group lawsuit that claimed the house was owned by Jews decades ago and therefore they want it back.

Siyam said the Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property demanded that the family retroactively pay over 40,000 shekels (more than $10,000) for back rent on the house.

Tenants who were present in the property prior to 1968 are considered “protected” and therefore the owner cannot evict them or increase the rent.

Siyam said that his mother had lived in this house since 1968 while his family continued to live in the house since 1980 and have never relinquished their right as protected tenants.

The family is planning to appeal the court ruling to freeze implementation of the eviction order until a final decision is reached.

The Custodian of Absentee Property gave their lawyer up to 45 days to appeal.

The family said, “The lawyer informed us that if we fail to pay the required amount of money, the Israeli court will seize all of our furniture.”

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