AMMAN: The Israeli Supreme Court has postponed a ruling on the case of four Palestinian families who are fighting eviction orders from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
The court held a hearing on the case of the Palestinian families facing expulsion by Israeli settlers in annexed east Jerusalem, an issue that was part of the start of the violent conflict in May.
Previous attempts by the court to make the families stay as protected tenants were rejected by the Palestinians through their lawyers.
A senior Palestinian government official intimately involved in the case told Arab News on condition of anonymity that the documents presented by the Jordanian government in recent days were a game-changer.
“The authenticated documents presented by the government of Jordan showing that the Palestinian homes were about to be registered when the 1967 war took place apparently complicated the attempts by the Israeli court to rule in favor of the Jewish settlers.
“Jordan’s latest documents were the game-changer in this case,” the source told Arab News.
They added: “It is very difficult now for the Israeli government to justify this ethnic cleansing of homes built by the Jordanian government in agreement with the UN for the Palestinians of Sheikh Jarrah.”
The decision late on Monday followed day-long protests outside the west Jerusalem court building,
Protesters raised signs in Arabic, English and Hebrew calling for “justice” to Sheikh Jarrah, demand an “end to the Israeli apartheid regime” and stating “we are not leaving our land.”
Jerusalem Orthodox Bishop Atallah Hanna told Arab News that the delay was made to keep the story quiet.
“It may take a month or two but the postponement does not mean cancellation of the eviction order. They might surprise us with something else at a later stage.”
Jamal Dajani, former director of communications in the office of the Palestinian prime minister, told Arab News that the postponement is due to the success of the daily demonstrations, international media, social media, and political pressure.
“The concern is that the Israeli authorities are just kicking the can down the road, waiting for the right moment ... to evict the Palestinian families. The pressure must continue and activists must remain vigilant.”
Dajani, an east Jerusalem resident, said that what is needed is a cancellation, not postponements.
“A fair and just ruling would be to cancel eviction orders — I’m afraid that this is just a temporary band-aid.”
Sami Abu Shehadeh, a member of the Israeli Knesset, is the head of the Balad/Tajamu party. The member of the Israeli Parliament for the Joint List tweeted that any decision regarding Sheikh Jarrah must take into consideration that east Jerusalem is occupied, that settlements are war crimes and that Israeli laws negate restitution of pre-1948 Palestinian property.
Shehadeh, who is a Palestinian historian, said that the solution is simple: “Respect international law, end the occupation and achieve equal rights.”