Jerusalem, June 11 (EFE).- An elderly Palestinian couple is at imminent risk of eviction from their home in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The expulsion could happen on Sunday after the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in favor of a group of Jewish settlers in a 45-year-old legal dispute over the property.
“We are facing the eviction order from the Israeli forces, they could arrive at any moment to evict my family, who have been living in this house since 1953,” said Ahmed Sub Laban.
Laban is one of the five children of Nora Ghaith and Mustafa Sub Laban, a couple aged 68 and 72, who refuse to leave the property.
Sitting in the living room of their small house in the Muslim quarter of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, the family members prepare to resist their eviction alongside a group of Israeli anti-occupation activists.
In March, the Israeli NGO Ir Amim warned about the looming eviction threat against the family.
The Supreme Court ruled in February to revoke the family’s protected tenancy status and ordered their eviction.
With the decision, the Sub Laban family exhausted all legal remedies, and the Israeli justice system ordered that if they did not leave the house, eviction could be forcible starting on June 11.
The affected family, Israeli activists at the site, and human rights groups believe that the eviction is part of a long-term strategy by Israeli authorities and pro-settlement groups to gain greater control over the Old City of Jerusalem and its Palestinian inhabitants.
The nonprofit said evictions of Palestinian families and takeover of their homes by settlers had increased to cement Israeli hegemony over the Old City within the walls of Jerusalem and its surroundings.
According to the NGO, the Sub Laban family is one of six families in the Old City and its surroundings currently facing imminent eviction.
Among them are families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, who are too engaged in lengthy litigation with a settler group.
The legal battle for the Sub-Laban family – who had the protected tenancy status after renting the house from the Kingdom of Jordan in 1953, began in 1978 when they received an initial notice due to an administrative change following the Israeli occupation of 1967.
The ownership of their home belonged to the Jordanian Custodian.
Jordan controlled East Jerusalem and the West Bank from 1948 to 1967 – and later became the property of the Israeli General Custodian.
Later on, the General Custodian transferred it to an association called Atara Leyoshna.
The group relies on an Israeli law that allows the recovery of Jewish properties predating 1948.
The legislation does not apply to the recovery of Palestinian-owned homes, which hundreds of thousands of people lost after becoming refugees in 1948 and were never able to return. EFE