A group of Jewish families ordered to evacuate an apartment building in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan by next month will appeal the court ruling, their attorney said on Sunday.
On February 11, the court ordered eight families to move out since no construction permit was ever issued for the seven-story building. One of the families has since left.
Judge Eliahu Zimra of the Jerusalem Court of Municipal Affairs had ordered the residents to leave by April 15.
The appeal is expected to indefinitely delay the eviction.
The residents moved into the building under heavy police guard three years ago, after it was bought from an Arab resident by a private Jewish donor working with Ateret Cohanim, an Israeli organization that seeks to settle Jews throughout east Jerusalem.
While the neighborhood is now overwhelmingly Arab, nearly 1,000 Jews from Yemen lived in the area for a half a century, from the 1880s until they were driven out by Arab rioters in 1938, the group said.
Ateret Cohanim spokesman Daniel Luria said the group hoped to double the number of Jewish families living in the neighborhood.
He condemned last month's court decision as "completely discriminatory" against Jews, and blasted the municipality for overlooking "well-known and predominantly illegal" Arab building there.
The case gained traction after a Jerusalem city councilman who opposes the presence of Jews in east Jerusalem pressed the municipality to take legal action against the Jewish families.
"The case shows that the law also works against the stronger party, even if they have the support of governmental bodies," Meretz city councilman Pepe Alalo said.
More than a dozen small Jewish enclaves exist or are under construction in or near Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, where some 1,000 Jewish residents now live.
******************************Court orders settlers to leave building in East Jerusalem
The Jewish families being shamefully evicted now, associated with Ateret Kohanim, remind me of those Jewish pioneers of the El-Ad ("To the City of David") organization that I was blessed to visit with as soon as they liberated areas of Shiloach years ago, as mentioned within Conflict in Jerusalem. Later I sat and talked with its leader, David Be'eri, on his lawn about the situation and future.
May a proper Jewish government be brought to power that will respect the Jewish Homeland and strengthen it and appreciate those who love it dearly. Meanwhile, may Jews, Israelis and Christian Zionists, encourage such patriotic souls in Shiloach to continue performing the mitzvot of settling the land and launch a "Save the City of David" campaign to show solidarity.
Israel's sworn enemies have no trouble getting a riot on, so why can't we manage to have an overwhelming show of support for those Jews on the frontlines to restore biblical Jerusalem? May the public have massive demonstrations and put pressure on the government to do the right thing and permit the Jews to remain. Let the yeshivas empty their classrooms and take it to the streets. No more Jewish expulsions!
The El-Ad Foundation is on the forefront of the movement to strengthen the ties of the Jewish people with ancient Jerusalem - the City of David. Right near the Western Wall, El-Ad is settling Jewish families right where the capital of Israel stood in the time of the Bible, developing archeological sites, and connecting visitors to the ancient City of David.
|Ir David Foundation |
USA Office: "Friends of Ir David"
1300 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210
|Israel Office |
Jerusalem, Israel 91180