JERUSALEM, August 29, 2013 (WAFA) – The Israeli government Thursday withdrew its decision to take over the Cliff Hotel located in on the line between East Jerusalem and Abu Dis, considered West Bank territory, after failing to prove that the absentee property law applies to its original owners.
The Israeli prosecution informed the Israeli Supreme Court that the government has decided to abandon a previous decision to seize the hotel claiming it was absentee property and to return it to its owners, the Ayyad family, which lives in the hotel vicinity but in the Abu Dis area.
The committee however claimed that the inheritors who live in Jordan and Kuwait cannot claim their shares in the hotel since they will be considered absentee based on a 1950 Israeli law that allowed the government to take over property abandoned by Palestinians during the 1948 war.
The Ayyad family had filed a lawsuit when Israel attempted to annex the hotel and make it part of Jerusalem to justify its takeover as absentee property. The Supreme Court was supposed to discuss this issue on September 10.
When Israel built the 8-meter high concrete wall that separated East Jerusalem from its area environs considered West Bank, the construction stopped at the Cliff Hotel when the Ayyad family waged a vicious legal battle to stop Israel from including their hotel inside the wall thus giving it reason to annex it.
Attorney Avigdor Feldman, who represented the Ayyad family in this case, said the absentee property law is nothing more than theft of Palestinian land and property in broad daylight.