Palestinian family evicted from East Jerusalem home after court fight

A Palestinian family in an East Jerusalem neighborhood was forcibly evicted from their home Wednesday after losing an appeal last month to a right-wing settlement organization that owns most of the building in the high-profile case.

A general view of the Israeli separated barrier between East Jerusalem in the background and the West Bank village of Abu Dis, East Jerusalem in May. A Palestinian family was evicted from their East Jerusalem home Wednesday after a long court battle.

The Siyam family had fought for 30 years in Israeli courts to keep their apartment home despite legal action from the Elad Association, which brought six suits against the family over that time to take control of the property, Haaretz reported.

A Jerusalem District Court ruled in Elad’s favor Wednesday. The Siyam family is related to Jawad Siyam, a local Palestinian community activist in the East Jerusalem Silwan neighborhood where the apartment building is located.

The court ordered Elham Siyam to evacuate the home along with an adjacent store.

“Elad has tried to take over the property of the Siyam family since the early 1990s in various purchase attempts rejected by the courts,” the left-leaning PeaceNow nongovernmental organization said last month about the case.

“In the end, after six long, exhausting and costly legal proceedings, the association managed to convince the court that it owned parts of the house and that the property could be divided so that it would have a foothold in it. The settlement in Silwan not only harms the prospects for a conflict-ending agreement and stability in Jerusalem, it is also cruel and evil.”

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that the family had refused the leave after the court order, leading to police removing them Wednesday. One person was detained during the eviction, the center said.

Israel has controlled East Jerusalem since the 1967 war and annexed the entire city in 1980. President Donald Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, declaring it Israel’s capital, in May 2018, sparking controversy in the international community.

ByClyde Hughes