Settlers Take over 3 Apartments in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, May 6, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers late Tuesday took over three apartments in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, under the pretext they are absentee’s property, according to local sources.

Witnesses told WAFA that a group of settlers guarded by police officers arrived in Silwan at midnight, and broke into three vacant apartments owned by the Abu Nab clan. Police said the settlers had won a court ruling establishing that the three apartments are the property of Yemenite Jews long time ago.

to be noted, settlers have taken over 40 apartments in Silwan since last September.

The Absentees’ Property Law (1950) is one of Israel’s major legal instruments for seizing Palestinian property,” according to Stop The Wall campaign, a local organization monitoring Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.

“By classifying every citizen or persons present in an “enemy” territory or country as an “absentee” vis-à-vis property in Israel, the law has served to confiscate the land and real e-state left behind by the Palestinians who were forcibly displaced 1948. It is still in effect and used to confiscate Palestinian properties more than six decades later,” the campaign reports.

On February 9, a Jewish settler group attempted to evict a house rented by a Palestinian family in the neighborhood of Aqabat al-Khalidiya in Jerusalem’s Old City, citing that the house belongs to a Jewish family and that settlers have the right to inhabit it instead of a Palestinian family.

The house’s owner, Ahmad Sub Laban, said his family rented the house in 1956 from Jordan’s then Custodian of Enemy Property (CEP), 11 years before Israel occupied the eastern part of Jerusalem. The house was originally owned by Jewish migrants before the CEP assumed control of Jewish-owned property upon the Israeli-Arab war in 1948.

Settlement activities and Israeli settlers in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem are illegal under international law.