Jebl Mukaber tenants evicted from disputed building

Evacuation brings end to ownership dispute that lasted over five years; Elad foundation claims it was not behind building purchase.

November 24, 2010 04:52
1 minute read.
A Jewish-owned home in the neighborhood of Silwan

311_Jewish home in Silwan. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A three-story residential building in east Jerusalem’s Jebl Mukaber neighborhood was on Tuesday evacuated of its 16 residents and their belongings by representatives of the Bailiff’s Office accompanied by police, bringing an end to an ownership dispute over the structure that had lasted years.

Over five years ago, Lowell Investments Ltd. bought the building, located on the border between Jebl Mukaber and Silwan, from the Karaite family that was living in it, who later refused to leave the structure. The dispute reached court, where the sellers claimed that the deal was invalid for a variety of reasons, including that the transaction was done by only one brother, who did not represent the entire family.

The court, however, refuted the claims, and eventually ruled that the family must be removed from the structure, which is divided into three apartments.

Without disputing the legality of the eviction, a spokesperson for the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement linked the buyers to the Elad foundation, which is involved in settling Jewish families in east Jerusalem, noting that he recognized members of Elad near the building during the eviction.

“The new settlement is without doubt meant to worsen the tensions between Washington and Jerusalem and set fire to the powder keg that is east Jerusalem,” said the spokesman, Assaf Sharon. “The residents of Jerusalem will pay the price for this despicable cooperation between the fundamentalist wing of the settlers’ movement and the Jerusalem Police.”

A spokesman for Elad noted that while the buyers had consulted with them, Elad was not behind the purchase.

The attorney representing Lowell Investments Ltd. in the transaction, Boaz Fiel of Yigal Arnon & Co., told The Jerusalem Post in an email correspondence that he presumed the owners would rent or sell the apartments to a third party, for residential or other purposes.

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