Appeals court upholds eviction of three Jewish families from Hebron home

In March, the Jerusalem District Court had issued a similar ruling. It echoed one handed down in 2012, that was dismissed on a technicality.

Home of the Bakri family (photo credit: TPS)
Home of the Bakri family
(photo credit: TPS)
The eviction of three Jewish families from a Palestinian home in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighborhood was upheld by the Jerusalem District’s Appeals Court on Monday.
The court also ordered the Tal Investment and Construction Company located in the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron – which alleged it had purchased the structure in 2005 from the previous owner, the Bakri family – to reimburse that family NIS 579,600 for the 15 years the Jewish families had spent in the structure. It is located at the end of a cul-de-sac near a military base and Ruth’s Tomb.
In March of this year, the Jerusalem District Court had issued a similar ruling. It echoed one handed down in 2012, that was dismissed on a technicality.
In Monday’s ruling, the three judges said that they did not believe the company’s claim that it had purchased the structure in good faith. Nor did it accept the argument that the Palestinian family should be required to sell the structure due to the investment the company made in the building.
The judges noted that the structure was worth more than the investment and that evidence existed that made the company’s claim of good faith not credible.
This includes a report that the purchase agreement was fraudulent and a police complaint that the Bakri family had filed in 2005 demanding the eviction of the occupants of the structure.
According to the left-wing NGO Peace Now, the Bakri family had temporarily left the structure in 2001 due to repeated harassment by Jewish residents of Hebron.
It quoted as evidence a Civil Administration report about the settler vandalism of the property both before and after the Bakri family left.
“On August 3, 2001, Jews broke into the house, emptied it of its contents and stored everything in one room, destroying the balcony at the entrance to the house, and damaging the windows and doors. In addition, 10 vines were uprooted at the entrance to the house,” the Civil Administration said.
Peace Now added that Jewish families had moved into the house around 2004 or 2005.
Hagit Ofran of Peace Now said that, “The story of the Bakri House is not only a story of deceit, theft and cruelty of settlers who are not loathe to take control of assets that are not theirs, but also a matter of the lack of government accountability.”
She added that, “for 18 years, the government did not enforce the law against the invading settlers, and even assisted them and allowed them to continue to steal the house and scare away their Palestinian neighbors in Tel Rumeida. The Bakri family was forced to go to lengthy and expensive legal procedures only because of the government’s policy, and the settlers take advantage of the legal field in order to postpone the eviction for years.”


Tags Hebron court