The Ateret Cohanim Organization may continue litigation for the execution of 700 Palestinians from the neighboring settlement of Silvan in eastern Jerusalem, although the process of obtaining rights on the ground is wrong and raises many issues, the Supreme Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday.
But it left the door open to residents to continue their legal battle, leaving the crucial factual matter unanswered and saying that the lower courts would have to decide on the issue before approving the evictions.
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The court decided on a petition of 104 Palestinians living in a part of Silvan, which was a Jewish Jewish neighborhood until 1938. In 1899, when the Ottoman Empire still ruled the region, the country on which this neighborhood was built was registered with the Shariah Court in Jerusalem as a member of Jewish trust.
In 2001, the Jerusalem District Court approved a decision by the government's general administrator to appoint three members of Ather Coanim to trust. It effectively gave the organization control over the homes of 70 Palestinian families that contained about 700 people together.
Athero Cohanim, who works to move the Jews to East Jerusalem, has so far moved the two families and wanted to evict others. But families have waged a long legal battle against this process, arguing that Ateri Coanim's land transfer is wrong in many ways.
Families claimed that according to the Ottoman law, the land in question was classified as Miri land – a classification that would allow the original trust to own only buildings, not the land. Because the original buildings were destroyed long ago, the trust no longer has any claim for the land, the petition claimed.
In their decision, judges Daphne Barak-Erez, Anne Baron and Joseph Elron accepted some of the complainant's arguments. For example, he criticized Ateri Coanim's land administrator general manager without informing the residents or trying to find out who lived there.
"We can not continue without expressing a surprise in the assumption of the state that the decision so important for the lives of hundreds of people -" releases "from the property they lived for many years [and transferring it] in other hands – it is not something that should be published with reasonable means, "Barak-Erez writes on behalf of the court." Even the precise identity of the residents of the property was not known, and that is the state's interpretation of the state. "
"This is one of those cases in which considerations of efficiency and decency clash," she added, noting that informing residents would not only be decent work, but could help to "clarify issues that could arise "for the decision.
The judges refused to decide on the question whether the country was originally classified as Miri's land, saying it is now difficult to answer that question more than 100 years later, and stressing that even the state has changed its mind on the issue. The question requires an explanation and "may even require the appointment of experts" to investigate, they write. But they said that the High Court is not the right place to determine how the Ottomans classed the country.
Despite the many problems they cited, the judges said they did not find the basis for intervention in the administrative general's decision, because the problems "lie in the statutory arrangement and are not the result of the administrator's verdict."
But they stressed that Aterit Kohanim should decide whether the land is actually Miri Land before approving the evictions.
Barak-Erez closed its decision, noting that residents would suffer from being expelled from homes where they had been living for decades, and some even bought them. She therefore urged the state to pay compensation to exiled persons.
Although evictions, assuming that the country is truly trustworthy, are legal, she wrote: "Withdrawing the people who have lived on this land for decades-some of them even without knowing that the earth belongs to others-creates a human problem. it has been done without compensation or any other solution. It seems that the state would make it better to consider providing a solution, in appropriate cases, for those expelled from their homes. Property rights are important, but it is also important that are a wave t people's homes. "