(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
A month’s delay of the court-ordered evacuation and sealing of Beit Yehonatan
ends on Friday, but sources close to the Jewish residents of the seven-story home
in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday
they did not believe the order was any closer to being carried out now than it
was at the end of June.
RELATED:Guest Columnist: A man with a good planIr Amim demands El-Ad leave SilwanBeit Yehonatan residents take fight to High Court
On June 30, the Jerusalem District Court rejected
an appeal filed by residents of Beit Yehonatan that would have postponed the
court order by an unspecified amount of time.
However, in the same
hearing, residents were granted a 30-day reprieve regarding the
Since then, Beit Yehonatan’s residents and their supporters have
worked tirelessly to show that similar court orders, issued against Arab-owned
structures built without the proper permits inside the east Jerusalem
neighborhood, have yet to be carried out, and in some cases, even pre-date the
court order that was issued against Beit Yehonatan.
Residents now say
that Beit Yehonatan is “at the bottom” of a list of similar housing violations
in the east Jerusalem neighborhood, and that if the municipality were to go
through with the court order against the Jewish-owned home, it would first have
to deal with hundreds of similar, Arab-owned properties in the
“Theoretically, the outstanding court order to seal
building is standing, and theoretically, the municipality, backed by the police
could seal the building,” said Danny Luria, a spokesman for the Ateret Cohanim
organization, which works towards reestablishing Jewish life in
“But Beit Yehonatan is down a long list of Arab buildings that
need to be dealt with first,” he added.
“Plus, next week Ramadan begins,
and so demolitions, and actions that might ‘disturb the peace’ in primarily Arab
neighborhoods tend not to take place [during that time].”
that “in the meantime, there has been no official word from the municipality
that [the evacuation and sealing of Beit Yehonatan] is on the top of the
“They have received a report from police that this is not something
that can happen in the immediate future. Police have voiced their concerns over
the security situation in the area, and that squatting in the building, if it
were to be evicted, together with granting security to the lone family that
would remain in the adjacent Beit Hadvash building, would all complicate matters
“They’re not running forward to do what is necessary – according
to what [municipal legal adviser Yossi] Havilio wants – and according to what I
understand, neither is the mayor,” he said. “Everyone is basically saying that
it’s not going to happen.”
Luria’s comments were at least partially
echoed from an unlikely source – Orly Noy of the Jerusalem-based NGO Ir
which has in the past made clear its opposition to what the organization
labeled “ideological Jewish settlers in the heart of Palestinian
in east Jerusalem.”
“[The residents] will find another excuse as to why
not to evict them,” Noy said on Sunday.
“Even though the final ruling was
given, and the residents have no grounds for another appeal, my guess is
they will figure out another way to postpone this,” she continued.
don’t see it happening in the coming days,” she added.