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Israel’s High Court Allows 4 Palestinian Families To Stay in Sheikh Jarrah Homes
A view of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem from 2014, with the city center of Jerusalem in the background. (David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons)

Israel’s High Court Allows 4 Palestinian Families To Stay in Sheikh Jarrah Homes

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that four Palestinian families can remain in their homes in east Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood while Israel further investigates the history of the ownership of the homes. The families, who have lived for decades on the properties, had filed a petition with the top court against a lower court ruling allowing them to be evicted by a Jewish organization that claims title to the land, which it says belonged to Jews prior to 1948.

The three-judge panel on Tuesday ruled that the families would be recognized as protected tenants, and would pay the Jewish organization Nahalat Shimon a symbolic annual rent of 2,400 Israeli shekels (nearly $750) until it is determined who owns the right to the land.

The families last month rejected a compromise that would have allowed them to stay as protected tenants with a symbolic rent for the next 15 years, saying that it would have validated the Jewish organization’s claims and allowed it to take their family homes in the future.

Tension and violence between Jews and Palestinians in the neighborhood is considered to be one of the main catalysts behind the 11-day cross-border conflict between Gaza and Israel in May, which saw rockets fired from Gaza into Jerusalem.

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