Israeli Supreme Court set to rule on Sheikh Jarrah case, opening door for expulsion of Palestinians

Israeli Supreme Court set to rule on Sheikh Jarrah case, opening door for expulsion of Palestinians
The Supreme Court's determination will doubtless impact other proceedings, and could open the door to approximately 550 Palestinians being removed from their land.
2 min read
07 June, 2021
Avichai Mendelblit notified the court on Monday [Amir Levy/Getty-archive]

The Israeli Supreme Court is set to give its decision on an ongoing case in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood where dozens of Palestinians face being expelled from their homes.

It comes after the Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit notified the court on Monday that he would decline to present a view on the case, Haaretz reported.

While only three families are specifically concerned in this case, multiple other proceedings are awaiting judgement.

The Supreme Court's determination will doubtless impact these matters too and could open the door to 550 or so Palestinians being removed from their land.

Figures from the AG's office reportedly consider the case of those facing eviction at the hands of Israeli settlers to be poor.

They feel no difference would be made by Mendelblit giving the court his view, and that this would fail to stop the expulsion.

One Mendelblit insider informed Haaretz what the paper describes only as "the political leadership" supports the AG's choice not to get involved.

To justify him staying out of the matter, the AG said "a multiplicity of legal cases over the years", in addition to "the factual and legal determinations" surrounding the neighbourhood's land prompted his move.

Like those in his office, Mendelblit reportedly also argued that giving a view would probably not alter the result of the proceedings.

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With the attorney general revealing his non-participation on Monday, the Supreme Court is set to decide the case.

The AG had been afforded until 8 June to offer his view on the law, after a request by the Mendelblit was granted by Justice Isaac Amit.

The prosecution requested the court hold off on its ruling to allow the AG to formulate his stance.

Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem: A history of dispossession
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Israeli group Peace Now slammed Mendelblit for engaging in "a cynical attempt to evade responsibility."

The organisation urged the authorities "to present to the public and to the court its stance, as families are thrown out into the street by employing a set of laws that discriminates between Israelis and Palestinians".

In addition to the threat of expulsion, Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah face other legal problems with Israeli authorities.

On Sunday, twins Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd, two prominent Sheikh Jarrah residents and activists, were held for hours and then freed by the Israelis.

During this time, Muna was allegedly "threatened in an attempt to stop her carrying on with her legally permitted activities", according to Nasser Odeh, her family's lawyer.