After three decades in a battle with the settlers...a court ruling proving the Sumrein family's ownership of their property
April 4, 2023

An atmosphere of joy and happiness has prevailed in the home of the Sumrein family in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood of Silwan, after the Israeli Supreme Court recognized its ownership of its real estate, and rejected the settlers' demands to evict the family.

The Sumrein family has not rested for 3 decades. It has lived a nightmare of expulsion and displacement over the past years, but it clung to its right and did not despair or give up. It waged a long struggle in the courts against the Jewish National Fund, the Custodian of Absentee Property, and the Elad Settlement Association, until it proved its right to the property overlooking Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Israeli Supreme Court, with a composition of 3 judges, approved the appeal submitted by the Sumrein family against the District Court’s decision to evict the family from its property in favor of the settlers. The Supreme Court’s decision recognized the ownership of the Sumrein family to the property, and thus annulled the District Court’s decision.

Amal Sumrein - the owner of the house - said: "We defeated the settlers and established our right to our house. Our joy is great in the house. This house is very dear to me, my children and my grandchildren. For years we lived on the edge. We did not know whether to calm down or sleep. Fear and terror from the courts, settlers and eviction cases. Permanent intimidation of family members, and despite all that, we stood firm and did not forfeit our right to our property.”

As for Murad Sumrein, who was a child of no more than 5 years old when the family began its struggle in the courts, he said: "The success of the case of our house is a success for everyone in Silwan. This house, with its strategic location, is a thorn in front of the settlers and their plans. Since childhood, we have lived in constant fear of the specter of expulsion and control of our house. I grew up, got married, and my children lived what I lived, and today we live with great joy by establishing our right to our home.”

Property of the Sumrein family

The Sumrein family's property consists of 4 apartments, and 18 people live in it. It is located inside the settlement outpost called "City of David" at the entrance to Wadi Hilweh, and overlooks the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque from the south.

The Information Center stated that the Sumrein family has been involved in a struggle in the occupation courts since 1991, after an eviction lawsuit by the Israeli company "Hemonta" - which is considered one of the "Jewish National Fund" companies - claiming ownership of the property.

The Sumrein family explained that the occupation authorities transferred the ownership of the house in 1983 to the “custodian of absentee property,” after the death of the great-grandfather of the family, Musa Abdullah Sumrein, claiming that Hajj Musa’s children are in Jordan and he has no heirs inside the Palestinian territories, although Mohammad Sumrein is his nephew. Mousa had lived with him in the house and bought it from him before his death.

The family added that the occupation authorities transferred ownership of the property without informing the family until they filed an eviction suit in 1991, noting that the family members lived in the property and did not leave it.

The occupation authorities transferred ownership of the property from the Custodian of Absentee Property to the "Israeli Development Authority" and then to the "Hemonta" company.

In September 2019, the Magistrate Court issued a decision to evict the Sumrein family from the property, so the family went to the District Court, and on 30/6/2020, the District Court held a session to consider the appeal, and on the same day issued its decision to evict the family, and gave them until 16/8/2020 to implement the eviction decision, so the family went to the Supreme Court, which issued its decision yesterday.