The Israeli Supreme Court has overturned a Jerusalem District Court ruling ordering the eviction of Arabs who live on a Jewish-owned property in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. This is a landmark case, because squatters have for the first time been allowed to stay on in property that is not theirs rather than end up on the street. In previous cases, the Arab residents owned other property. Israel Hayom reports:
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Last month, Jerusalem District Court Presiding Judge Aharon Farkash ordered that the home be evicted by Feb. 12, but the Arab residents illegally squatting on the property appealed to the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger overturned Farkash’s ruling and said that “the home in question is the residents’ only place of residence and an eviction order would effectively mean throwing them out on the street.”
The Arab residents had questioned the validity of the property titles presented by the Jews who claim ownership to the home, but the Jerusalem District Court rejected their claim.
Danziger ruled that “no one disagrees that the [Jewish] respondents have the right to exercise their rights to the property rights, as per the [district] court’s ruling even while the appeal in being heard, but given that an eviction would cause irreparable damage, the court must find in favor of the plaintiffs.”
Danziger also denied the demand made by the Jewish property owners to receive payment from the Arabs using the property.
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E.Jerusalem home restituted to Jewish owners