|In follow-up to the previous alert issued on the topic, the Jerusalem District Court heard yesterday the appeals by seven Palestinian families from Batan al-Hawa, Silwan facing eviction lawsuits filed by members of the Ateret Cohahim settler organization on behalf of the Benvenisti Trust.
During the hearing, the attorneys representing the Nasser and Abed al-Fatah Rajabi families requested that the court seek the involvement of the Attorney General of Israel given the cases' significant national interest.
After hearing the arguments of both sides, the court stated that it would hand down a ruling in the coming days. The District Court will likely rule on the families' request for the Attorney General's involvement and/or await the Attorney General's response on the Duweik family case currently pending before the Israel High Court. In January, the Israel High Court sought the position of the Attorney General on legal elements in the appeal of the Duweik family from Batan al-Hawa. In the case of the Shweiki and Odeh families, the court subsequently ruled to wait for the Attorney General's position in the Duweik family case to issue a decision on their appeal. The court has given the Attorney General until May 31 to submit his response.
It should be noted that beyond the aforementioned cases, the Attorney General's involvement has now been sought in a number of other eviction cases in recent months. In April, the Israel High Court requested the Attorney General's position in the case of the Sumarin family facing eviction from their home in Wadi Hilweh, Silwan in favor of JNF-Israel and the Elad settler organization. The deadline for submitting the Attorney General's opinion is currently June 12.
In Sheikh Jarrah, on the opposite side of the Old City Basin, the Attorney General's involvement was likewise requested on May 9 in the cases of the four families (Askafi, Ja'uni, Abu Hasna, Al-Kurd families – six households) facing pending evictions from their homes in favor of the Nahalat Shimon settler group. In response to the families' request, the Attorney General asked the court to defer the hearing on their cases for at least 14 days in order to weigh his involvement. The hearing has been postponed for at least 30 days.
Three additional families (Dajani, Daoudi, Hammad--seven households) from Sheikh Jarrah who filed a request to appeal to the Israel High Court likewise recently requested the involvement of the Attorney General in their cases. On May 12, the Israel High Court gave the Attorney General 30 days to submit his response to the request.