Second decision in a week…A decision to evict Dweik family from their property in Silwan in favor of settlers
January 26, 2020

The Magistrate Court issued on Sunday a decision to evict Dweik family from its property in Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, in favor of the "Ateret Cohanim Settlement Association", on the pretext that Jews owned the land on which the building is located.

Wadi Hilweh-Silwan Information Center and Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood committee, in a joint statement, indicated that the Magistrate Court rejected the objections submitted by the Dweik family to the judicial notices that it had received from the "Ateret Cohanim" Association in 2014, where it tried and over the past years to prove its right to the land and building, where the family has lived for about 6 decades.

They explained that the court had given the family until early August to implement the eviction decision.

Mazen Dweik explained that the family property consists of 5 floors, where 5 families including 25 individuals live.

Dweik added: "The Ateret Cohanim Association claims ownership of the land on which the building is built, knowing that my grandfather bought the land in 1963, and since that time the family has lived in it."

 Wadi Hilweh-Silwan Information Center and the Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood committee explained that the pursuit of the Dweik family started by the occupation municipality in 2008, when the municipality issued a decision to demolish two floors of the property on the pretext of building without a permit, and after years in the courts, the Supreme Court rejected the municipality’s decision. The family was then surprised by receiving a judicial notice from "Ateret Cohanim Association" claiming the land. During the past years, several hearings were held, the last of which was 7 months ago, and the decision was issued on Sunday.

They added in the statement that "Ateret Cohanim" Association began, since September 2015, to deliver judicial notices to the people of the neighborhood, demanding the land where their homes are built, after the association obtained in 2001 the right to manage the property of the Jewish Association, which claims ownership of the land.

They added that the targeted building of Dweik family lies within the plan of "Ateret Cohanim" to control 5200 square meters of the Central Neighborhood, "Batn Al-Hawa" area, claiming that the Jews from Yemen owned the land since 1881. The association claims that the Israeli Supreme Court approved the ownership of Jews from Yemen to the land of Batn Al-Hawa.

They pointed out that 84 families have received judicial notices over the past years requesting the land where their homes are built. They are all involved in a struggle in Israeli courts to prove their right to the land that they bought from their former owners on official documents.