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Sheikh Jarrah residents in Jerusalem reject High Court compromise

CM 02/11/2021

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The families threatened with eviction from their homes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah announced on Tuesday that they have rejected a High Court compromise to solve their dispute with the Jewish-owned Nahalat Shimon Company.
Four of the families – al-Jaouni, al-Kurd, Qassem and Iskafi – were supposed to present their response to the compromise by Tuesday.
Hours before the expiration of the deadline, however, Palestinian sources said that seven other families also threatened with eviction have accepted the compromise, according to which they would be recognized as “protected tenants.”

The reports about the agreement of the seven families to the compromise, which appeared in several Palestinian media outlets, sparked a public outcry among the Palestinians. The reports claimed that several unnamed parties had advised the families to accept the compromise.
Palestinian Authority and officials from the ruling Fatah faction came out against the compromise and called on the families to reject it. Last week, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh also urged the Sheikh Jarrah families to reject the compromise.

Hundreds of Jews and Arabs gather in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in order to protest looming evictions, May 21, 2021 (credit: NIV BEILI)Hundreds of Jews and Arabs gather in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in order to protest looming evictions, May 21, 2021 (credit: NIV BEILI)

Following the outcry, a statement issued by the families said that the compromise has been rejected.
“We rejected the proposal by the Israeli Supreme Court, which would have rendered us protected tenants at the mercy of the Nahalat Shimon settler organization,” read the statement. It claimed that the compromise “paves the way for a gradual confiscation of our right to our lands.”
According to the statement, the Israeli judiciary “is circumventing its duty to adjudicate the case and is forcing us instead to choose between our own dispossession or submitting to an oppressive agreement.”
It held the Israeli government “fully responsible for stealing our homes.”
Aref Hammad, a resident of Sheikh Jarrah who claimed to speak on behalf of all the families, told reporters that they did not come under pressure to turn down the High Court proposal.
“This was our own decision, and we don’t allow anyone to put pressure on us,” he said.
A group called The National and Islamic Forces in Jerusalem warned that the compromise “carries serious political and legal risks that would confirm Nahalat Shimon’s ownership of the lands and houses in Sheikh Jarrah.”
The group also warned that accepting the compromise would set a “dangerous precedent, which will impact other neighborhoods in Jerusalem.”
The PA Jerusalem Affairs Ministry said that the Sheikh Jarrah case is a purely political issue. “The occupation courts are only a tool in the service of the Israeli government to implement its schemes in the State of Palestine in general and the occupied city of Jerusalem in particular,” the ministry said in a statement.
Ahmed Rwaidy, a senior PA official, arrived in Sheikh Jarrah and announced his strong opposition to the compromise.
“We reject all Israeli measures and any offer presented to the families of Sheikh Jarrah by the occupation because of the dangerous national repercussions,” Rwaidy said. “The occupation wants to drag us to its courts.”
Senior Fatah officials Hatem Abdel Qader and Shadi Mtour also rejected the compromise, urging the families to follow suit.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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