Court Postpones Hearing on Silwan Evictions

YERUSHALAYIM -
View of an apartment building where Jewish residents recently moved in, in the East Yerushalayim neighborhood of Silwan. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A district court in Yerushalayim has postponed a hearing on another explosive case involving possible evictions of Palestinians in the city’s Silwan neighborhood, The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.

It follows a similar case in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood which was the focus of violent Palestinian protests and led to the 11-day armed conflict with Hamas.

Tuesday’s court session was called off after the Palestinian families petitioned the attorney general to intervene, their lawyer Yazeed Qawaar said.

“Such a public case must include the opinion of the attorney general,” he said. “It’s obvious that the government was supporting the settler project and therefore it’s up to the attorney general to take the responsibility.”

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated to the Palestinian Al-Ayyam newspaper that Washington opposes the still-pending evictions of four Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah.

Blinken said the U.S. is “very concerned,” and noted that the Palestinians in question have lived there for generations and that such steps by Israel undermines prospects for a two-state solution.

The Sheikh Jarrah evictions are based in part on a 1970 Israeli law that allows Jews to reclaim east Yerushalayim property owned by Jews before 1948, when Jordan seized the area and confiscated lands for Arabs to occupy.