Israeli Supreme Court offers ‘compromise’ to Sheikh Jarrah Palestinian residents

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Israeli Supreme Court offers ‘compromise’ to Sheikh Jarrah Palestinian residents

Judges say residents have a week to consider a form of ‘protected status’ in exchange for recognising historic Jewish ownership

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

The neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)
The neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)

Four Palestinian families have been given until next week by Israel’s Supreme Court to decide on a compromise to prevent their eviction from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

An Israeli settlers’ group is seeking possession of homes in which around 70 people live today, arguing they were Jewish-owned before a 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation.

The case is part of a decades-long campaign for control of neighbourhoods just outside Jerusalem’s Old City that today are inhabited by Palestinians.

Sheikh Jarrah explained: why it’s more than just a property dispute

On Monday the Supreme Court offered the Palestinian residents a form of “protected” status that would protect them from eviction in exchange for recognising the settlers’ historic ownership of the properties.

They were given a week to consider the proposal, which was rejected by the settlers group.

The Sheikh Jarrah case has drawn international attention over what Palestinians and human rights groups say are discriminatory Israeli property laws.

They argue the legal system does not permit Palestinians to make claims over properties within Israel’s borders that they abandoned before 1948.

Campaigners estimate as many 1,000 Palestinians face eviction if the present case rules against them, although sources close to the Israeli government suggested an eviction order was unlikely to be enforced.

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