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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Arab squatters to be evicted from Jerusalem synagogue

National Union MK Uri Ariel has threatened to personally evict an Arab family that has been squatting in the Yemenite synagogue in the Jerusalem village of Silwan for decades. The family has been under a court order to vacate the synagogue since 2008, but the order has not been enforced (welcome to Israel). Ariel wants to enforce it himself. On July 4. Why July 4?
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to be visiting U.S. President Barack Obama on that date, and the timing would cause him some awkwardness, or worse, during their meetings. It is not clear whether the date was chosen purposely for this reason or not; the plans had been in the air for a while, but today was the first time that a date has been set.

The synagogue, which stands 150 meters away from Beit Yehonatan and Beit Dvash, the only two Jewish-populated buildings in the area, is now occupied by four Arab families, some of whom have been there since 1938. The building was built in 1890 by the Yemenite Jewish community, which was forced to abandon it in the late 1930s because of Arab pogroms.

In late 2008, a court ruling was issued ordering the police to cooperate in evicting the Arab squatters, and to raze the additional rooms built there illegally over the years. “The court ordered the building restored to its original state,” Assaf Baruchi of the Ateret Cohanim Association told Arutz-7 several weeks ago, “but since then the police have done nothing, and so if we have no choice; we’ll do it ourselves.”


At 2:35 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This is striking contrast to the speed with which the Israeli police demolish Jewish homes. More proof there exist two systems of justice in the country.


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