Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot
The father of a Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood family fortified himself on the roof of the house with his children and a gas cylinder, Jan. 17, 2022.

Large police forces are forcibly evacuating an Israeli-Arab family from their home in the Shimon HaTzadik (Sheikh Jarrah) neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem Monday morning. The father of the family fortified himself on the roof of the house with his children, a gas cylinder and a can of gasoline, and he threatened to blow it up. A police negotiating team is trying to persuade him to come down peacefully.

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Muhammad and Meital Salahiya have been living in a large compound in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood for decades. Muhammad claims that his father purchased the land before 1967. The state has claimed that the area is part of the “Mufti’s vineyard,” land that belonged to Adolf Hitler’s favorite Muslim, Haj Amin al-Husseini, and was therefore expropriated under the Absentee Landlord Law and the family has no rights to it.

As an aside, according to Hakol Hayehudi, the mother Meital, is a Jew from Rishon LeZion, and obviously, even though they were raised as Muslims, her children are Jewish too.

About five years ago, the Jerusalem municipality announced it was planning to expropriate the area to build an educational institution there. The family has since been waging a legal battle against their eviction but has failed to prove ownership. Even if they did prove ownership, the municipality has the right to expropriate the area in exchange for market-value compensation.

A year ago, Jerusalem District Court Judge Anat Singer ruled in favor of the municipality and determined that the family members could be evacuated. Last week, the family’s lawyer filed an urgent request to prevent the eviction, claiming that the order applies only to the couple and not to other family members who also live in the compound. Judge Einat Avman-Müller entertained this bizarre, desperate claim and requested the municipality’s response, but refrained from issuing an injunction against the eviction.

It should be noted that Monday’s eviction is not connected to the ongoing battle in Shimon HaTzadik between the Jewish owners of neighborhood homes and the Arab squatters who refuse to honor several court decisions to have them removed.

In the end, the police caved in and didn’t evacuate the family.

 

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.