AYOUB SHAMASNEH (seated in wheelchair) and his son Mohammad Shamasneh (directly behind) wait at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court last Thursday..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Monday rejected an appeal by a Sheikh Jarrah family to postpone their eviction procedure and revise their property listing in the municipality.
In light of the new ruling, the Bailiff’s Office is expected to evict the family from the home they have lived in for the past 53 years by September 9. A source close the family said, however, that not all legal options had been exhausted.
Sai’d Ghaliyeh, the attorney for the Shamasneh family, argued in court on Thursday that the property block number appearing on the eviction order might not be the one on which their Sheikh Jarrah home sits.
He claimed that borders of the blocks and parcels of the neighborhood are unclear due to lack of proper listing and that a thorough check is necessary before the eviction is carried out.
In 2013, the Supreme Court issued a peremptory (final) ruling saying the Shamasneh family needs to leave its home.
The rejected appeal, according to Ghaliyeh, was aimed at the eviction procedure and not at the eviction itself.
Arieh King, a Jerusalem City councilman and director of the Israel Land Fund, told The Jerusalem Post he is surprised the appeal happened in the first place.
“I don’t understand why the judge even summoned them to court,” said King. “You cannot appeal a Supreme Court ruling in the Magistrate’s Court.
Despite him [Ghaliyeh] saying that his intentions are not to appeal against the Supreme Court ruling, he actually did.
“All the claims he made in the court discussion were already rejected by the Supreme Court.”
King said he hopes this was their last appeal and that they will leave the home on their own.
“If not, we will have to call the Bailiff’s Office to do so and it will cost them about NIS 40,000,” he said, adding that the court ruled that the family must cover the expenses of the last appeal.
Hatem Abd al-Qader, a former Jerusalem affairs minister of the Palestinian Authority and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, attended a gathering at the Shamasneh family on Monday. He said they must stay, regardless of the court decision.
“This a political decision,” Abd al-Qader said. “They should not leave the house.”
Abd al-Qader said the case affects the whole neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and that the only option now is to try to delay the eviction.
“The settlers wish to build a settlement in the heart of Sheikh Jarrah and we are appealing to the court to buy time, not because we have any faith in them,” he said, indicating that he believes the court is serving the Israeli interest.