[News] Israeli judges order grandchildren out of Palestinian family's home

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Dec 22 11:32:51 EST 2016


  Israeli judges order grandchildren out of Jerusalem family's home

Charlotte Silver 
<https://electronicintifada.net/people/charlotte-silver> - 21 December 2016

The Ghaith-Sub Laban family’s six-year legal battle to remain in their 
home of six decades has come to an end, as the Israeli high court made a 
final ruling in the family’s eviction case on Wednesday.

After Jewish settlers rejected 
the court’s proposed compromise on Tuesday, the Israeli judges returned 
a more favorable verdict to the settlers: allowing the Ghaith-Sub Laban 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/nora-sub-laban> family to remain in 
their home for only 10 more years, and at that point terminating their 
protected tenancy.

Without protected tenancy, the settler organization that owns the 
building can evict the family.

But the court has ordered the descendants of Mustafa Sub Laban and Nora 
Ghaith, whose mother first moved into their house in the Muslim Quarter 
of the Old City in East Jerusalem 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/old-city-jerusalem> in 1953, to 
leave their home.

Nora and Mustafa currently live in the house with a daughter, two sons, 
a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren aged 4 and 9.

Their son Ahmad Sub Laban, a journalist and field researcher with the 
human rights group Ir Amim 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/ir-amim>, noted 
that the court’s ruling evicts part of the family.

If Ahmad and his brother and sister violate this stipulation, the whole 
family may be evicted.

The high court ruling also excludes the small storage room below their 
house from the decision, allowing settlers to proceed to take that over.

    Last family

The Ghaith-Sub Labans are the last Palestinian family 
remaining in the building. The others have already been evicted and 
replaced with Jewish settlers.

In a statement on Facebook, the family said, “Nora and her family 
appealed to the Israeli high court asking for a ‘remedy of justice.’ 
Apparently their notion of ‘justice’ is unheard of!”

Nora Ghaith-Sub Laban said the high court accepted the settlers’ claim 
that the house was abandoned, a claim the family has vehemently denied.

“The court process and final decision starkly expose how settlers, over 
the course of decades, have taken advantage of land trusts to abuse 
Palestinian families in East Jerusalem,” Israeli human rights group Ir 
Amim said in a statement.

Though the Ghaith-Sub Laban family have been at risk of eviction since 
the 1970s, they have been fighting the Kollel Galicia Trust’s 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/kollel-galicia-trust> determination 
to evict them from their home since 2010, when the Israeli government 
gave the group the property.

Nora’s mother first rented the house in 1953 from the Jordanian 
Custodian of Enemy Property.

The custodian assumed control of properties in East Jerusalem that Jews 
had abandoned 
in the early 20th century during the Palestinian revolts against Zionist 
and British colonization.

Palestinian refugees from western Jerusalem often moved into these 
properties in the Jerusalem after they fled or were ethnically cleansed 
by Zionist militias in 1948 

When she moved in, Nora’s mother was granted protected tenancy status, 
which should last for three generations.

After Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, the family began to 
pay rent to the Israeli General Custodian.

    Double standard

In 2010, the Israeli General Custodian transferred the property to Atara 
L’yoshna <http://www.palestine-studies.org/jps/fulltext/39735>, which 
eventually became the Kollel Galicia Trust.

The organization immediately appealed to evict the family on the basis 
that the family had left the apartment and therefore forfeited their 
protected tenancy status. In 2014, a Jerusalem court upheld the 
settlers’ claim.

“[The] Israeli judiciary once again sustains the discrimination that 
Palestinians face, where Israeli settlers are allowed to reclaim 
property they allegedly owned pre-1948 whereas Palestinians are 
prohibited from the same,” the family said in a statement.

Israel has never allowed Palestinians to recover any of the vast tracts 
of property seized from them in 1948.

“The Israeli high court, as with all similar eviction or house 
demolition cases, has proved itself to be a partner to Israel’s 
settlement expansion policy and to the settler’s ambition to take over 
as many houses [as possible] in occupied East Jerusalem.”

According to Ir Amim, the Ghaith-Sub Labans are one of nine families in 
the Old City currently under threat of eviction. Seven of these families 
live on the same street as the Ghaith-Sub Labans.

    Settler encroachment

Ir Amim and anti-settlement group Peace Now have released data showing 
the settler population in the so-called historic basin of the Old City 
has increased 70 percent since Benjamin Netanyahu was elected prime 
minister in 2009.

Sixty Palestinian families have been evicted in the same time period.

While private settler groups like Kollel Galicia Trust and Ateret 
Cohanim <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/ateret-cohanim> have been 
primarily responsible for evicting Palestinians in the Old City over the 
last year, they have received tolid support from the government. Ir Amim 
says the ministry of housing and construction’s security budget for East 
Jerusalem settlers grew 119 percent since 2009.

Earlier this year, when the high court first granted 
the family the right to appeal the Jerusalem court’s ruling to evict 
them, the family credited international support and attention as 
partially responsible for the favorable ruling.

“All the efforts to pressure the Israeli government and involve foreign 
diplomats are paying off,” Nora Sub Laban said hopefully last February.

Representatives from the US and European consulates had attended 
hearings for the family, and last year, the US consulate expressed 
“concern” over the family’s pending eviction.

But Wednesday’s high court ruling laid bare the paucity of such rhetoric 
from states that have demonstrated their unconditional support for 
Israel while it continues to force Palestinians off their land and out 
of their homes.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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