Residents of the Mevaseret Zion absorption center protest outside the Supreme Court against their pending eviction..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Aliya and Integration Ministry decided to delay the eviction of the Mevaseret Zion absorption center from September 4 to October 31, according to a letter sent to its residents last week.
In the letter, the ministry said that despite last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court to reject the petition to delay the eviction, and out of goodwill, it will provide the residents the opportunity to prepare themselves and find alternative housing by the end of the High Holy Days. It was stressed in the letter that this is the final date for the center’s closure.
The ministry reminded the residents of their options of assistance and from where they can receive them.
Those who are eligible for assistance can move to another absorption center; move to a rented apartment and receive financial assistance from the ministry for rent for the next five years; or buy an apartment with financial assistance from the ministry.
The Supreme Court decided last week to reject the residents’ petition to receive an injunction to prevent their eviction. However, the justices said they hope the authorities involved – the Aliya and Integration Ministry and the Jewish Agency – will provide the residents with acceptable alternative housing, but did not obligate them to do so.
MK Yossi Yonah, who’s been following the issue and helping the residents, told The Jerusalem Post
on Sunday that a “grace period” might have been given, but it does not solve the overall problem.
“The delay of the eviction does not indicate any progress was made regarding this matter,” said Yonah. “The root of the problem is that the authorities, whether it is the Jewish Agency or the Integration Ministry, do not feel obligated to provide the residents with permanent housing. This is their stance, and it was backed by the court last week.”
Yonah stressed that the authorities must provide proper permanent housing to the residents, and should avoid moving them from one absorption center to another.
Alalin Ayalao, a 33-yearold resident of the center, told the Post that the month-and-a-half delay is not significant for the residents, who feel that the state is against them.
“These government-run entities run our lives and think that they can do whatever they want,” Ayalao said.
“I feel that they do not care about us, and about the fact that we are a weak group... Moving us from one place to another is not a solution. The state should come toward the olim and compromise and help us find a proper solution, such as permanent housing.”