The Israeli High Court released late on Tuesday 20 December 2016 its decision regarding the Ghaith-Sub Laban eviction, in which the Court partially accepted the family’s appeal and stopping their eviction.
The decision keeps the family’s protected tenant status for 10 more years after which the family would be evicted and the house would be handed to the Israeli settler organization that requested their eviction.
The decision however limits the right to live in the house to Mrs. Nora Ghaith and her husband Mustafa Sub Laban without their children. The Court also excluded from its decision a small storage room for the family under the house which Israeli settlers can proceed in taking over.
The decision comes one day after the hearing held in front of the Israeli High Court yesterday in which the Court heard the family’s appeal against the eviction and the settler’s claims that the family abandoned their house years ago. During the hearing, the Court proposed a compromise to both parties under which the protected tenancy status would be limited to Nora and her husband and the family would be allowed to stay in the house as long as Nora and her husband live.
The settlers rejected the Court’s suggestion and instead proposed evicting the family and moving them to the small storage them under the house which is no more than 20 squared meters in size.
The Court disregarded the settlers’ suggestion and ended the hearing only to come with this unjust decision the following day.
Nora Ghaith’s family rented the house located in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem in 1953 from the Jordanian Custodian of Public Property. She continued to live in the house after 1967 and currently lives in the house with her husband, her two sons Ahmad and Rafat, her daughter Lama as well as her daughter in law Ruba and two grandchildren Mustafa and Kenan aged 9 and 4.
Nora Ghaith-Sub Laban commented by saying that the Court simply acknowledged the settler’s claims that the house is abandoned and ruled to separate her family. As per the High Court’s decision, Nora will have to be separated from her grandchildren as well as her unmarried son and daughter.
In case the family refuses to comply with the Court’s decision, the settlers can file a new request to evict the family before the 10 years have passed.
Ahmad Sub Laban, journalist and human rights activist, further added that the Israeli High Court’s decision in fact evicts part of the family and keep another temporarily.
Israeli judiciary once again sustains the discrimination that Palestinians face, where Israeli settlers are allowed to reclaim property they allegedly owned pre 1948 whereas Palestinians are prohibited from the same.
Today we also witness how the Court ruled to separate a family by deciding who can live in the house and who cannot.
The Israeli High Court, as with all similar eviction or house demolition cases, have proved itself to be a partner to Israel’s settlement expansion policy and to settler’s ambition to take over as many houses in occupied East Jerusalem. This is simply legitimizing the Israeli occupation’s policies that violate international law and an endorsement of Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem after 1967.