The Israeli High Court of Justice on Thursday rejected an appeal by Palestinian residents from the town of Silwan in East Jerusalem against an ethnic cleansing procedure, since the settlement group Ateret Cohanim called for evicting and deporting 700 of Palestinian families from the land.
According to PalToday website, The call was based on claims that the land belonged to Jewish Yemenis who lived in it more than a hundred years ago.
The court rejected the appeal filed by 104 Palestinians from the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan against the claims of the settlement association, although it acknowledged that the expropriation methods used by the settlement association were suspicious and raised questions about the validity of the procedures for the transfer of land and ownership.
In 2001, the settlement association obtained a judicial decision from the Jerusalem District Court appointing three of the association’s members as contractors responsible for stopping the land that was registered as a stopover for the Jews of Yemen in the 19th century.
In 2002, the so-called “Values of Absentee Property” transfered the land to become “Jewish Property” owned by the association. In that process, more than 70 Palestinian family homes were now owned by the settlement association, which is working permanently to Judaize the Old City of Jerusalem and the adjacent neighborhoods.
Despite the fact that the Israeli court recognized the defects in the transfer of land in Silwan from the “values of absentee property” in favor of the settlement association, it approved the transfer process in favor of the association, paving the way for the Ateret Cohanim to continue attempts to deport Palestinian families of Silwan from these houses and lands under the pretext that they have become a society.
In its decision, the Israeli court indicated that the Magistrate’s Courts, which would decide on the evacuation of the Palestinian population at the request of the settlers, would have to decide on the quality and nature of the land and the transfer of the values of absentee property to the settlement association.