A hearing at the Supreme Court to discuss the petition against displacing the locals of Batn Al-Hawa in Silwan
June 9, 2018

The Israeli Supreme Court held a hearing on Sunday on the petition filed by the residents of Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque against their displacement from their homes in favor of the settlement association “Ateret Cohnim”.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center (Silwan) reported that dozens of residents of Batn Al Hawa neighborhood who received judicial reports and notices to evacuate their homes in the neighborhood for the Ateret Cohnim Association filed a petition to the Supreme Court against the evacuation decision.

Zuheir Rajabi, head of Batn Al-Hawa Committee, explained that Ateerat Cohanim association is seeking to seize 5200 square meters under the pretext of being owned by the Jews from Yemen since 1881. The association started delivering judicial and eviction notices to the residents since September 2015. Thus, 84 families from the neighborhood - which received the notices - went to the Supreme Court, asserting in the petition that transferring the ownership of the land to Ateret Cohnim association لby the” Israeli official” responsible for the land was done without any proof of ownership, especially since the targeted lands are “miri lands” and cannot be turned into a "waqf" as the settlement association claims.

Rajabi explained that the Israeli official had used the “miri land” in the Supreme Court against the “waqf” of Kabanya Um Haron in the western part of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem. The court approved his claims and decided that any miri land cannot be turned into a “waqf”, and cancelled the “waqf” classification of the land and started evicting people from their homes.

Rajabi pointed out that the danger of eviction orders threatens 1,200 people from Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood, most of whom were abandoned from their villages and lands in 1948. Today, Ateret Cohnim is trying to displace them again and control their properties.

The committee called on local and international human rights organizations, Jerusalem neighborhood committees and the city's activists to attend the session scheduled for next Sunday in the Supreme Court to stop the displacement and confiscation of real estate and land and the displacement of the population in Jerusalem.