An English-language document from Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates proves that properties in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood (today known as Shimon HaTzaddik) are Jewish-owned.
The contract between the Kingdom of Jordan and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in 1954, published last year by Jordan’s official Petra news agency, documents an agreement for an “urban housing project of Sheikh Jarrah Quarter, Jerusalem.”
The official Jordanian document proves Jewish ownership of the currently disputed homes in the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood, with up-to-date official stamps proving its legal truth.
The document, preserved in UNRWA Archive on April 14, 2021, and stamped by the Jordanian government on April 20, 2021, shows the project was undertaken to provide housing for twenty-eight families in Jerusalem.
Under the description of the project, the contract states “Two single and thirteen twin housing units will be constructed in the Sheikh Jarrah Quarter of Jerusalem on formerly Jewish property leased by the Custodian of Enemy Property to the Ministry of Development, for the purpose of this project.”
Each family was required to conclude a lease agreement to pay a nominal rent of one Jordan Dinar per year to the lessor, “which is the Ministry of Economy and Development.”
The document came to light following a request in 2019 by the Palestinian Authority’s embassy in Amman, asking for certified copies of all leasing contracts, correspondence, records and lists of names of tenants in Sheikh Jarrah, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Daifullah Al Fayez told Petra.
“The embassy was also handed over a certified copy of the agreement between the Ministry Construction and Reconstruction and UNRWA in 1954,” Al Fayez said, adding that the search process is continuing for documents dating back more than sixty years.
“Al Fayez emphasized that rooting Jerusalemites on their land and homes and protecting their rights are permanent constants in the Kingdom’s efforts to support Palestinian brothers, expressing the kingdom’s absolute condemnation of Israel’s illegal and inhuman attempts to expel Palestinians from their homes and lands, and its refusal to tamper with their rights,” Petra wrote.
In this case, however, Jordan’s effort to “root Jerusalemites on their land homes and protect their rights” has proven the legitimacy of the Jewish claim to the properties.
On a different property in the Sheihk Jarrah neighborhood, after a years-long battle with families of squatters living on the properties, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, the Jerusalem District Court and Israel’s Supreme Court ruled those homes must be evacuated to enable the city municipality to establish a special education school and six kindergartens there for Arab children, and police successfully evacuated the property last week.
The state claimed in court that the area is part of the land that belonged to Haj Amin al-Husseini — a strong supporter of Adolph Hitler — and was expropriated under the Absentee Landlord Law. Tenant Muhammad Salahiya claimed his father purchased the land before 1967.