The Israeli Supreme Court was accused this week of facilitating a “cleansing of Palestinians” in Silwan, occupied East Jerusalem, following a decision to reject an appeal brought by residents threatened with eviction.
According to Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem, the court decision “was written without addressing the context whatsoever”, including the role of the settler organisation dedicated to “driv[ing] Palestinians out of their homes”, and “as though the Court were not sanctioning the broadest move to dispossess Palestinians since 1967”.
“The judgment proves, yet again, that the Israeli High Court [i.e. Supreme Court] gives its seal of approval to almost any infringement of Palestinians’ rights by the Israeli authorities,” said B’Tselem.
Haaretz journalist Nir Hasson, meanwhile, described the court decision as “at best a rubber stamp for injustice, endowed with legal and moral flexibility; at worst, the court is leading the conservative and reactionary charge, both legally and in Israeli society more generally.”
“Every brand-new intern in every court in Jerusalem known that when it comes to land laws, there are two classes of citizens”, Hasson continued.
“Palestinians, and only them, can be declared as absentees, whose land can be given to others. And only Jews can regain property that they owned before the 1948 War of Independence,” he added.
Israeli NGO Ir Amim, meanwhile, said the court ruling – as well as other developments – “threaten to pave the way for expedited settler takeovers in the most highly contested part of Jerusalem”. Taken as a whole, these legal and political steps “could have disastrous results for Palestinians living in the radical settler hotbeds of Batan Al-Hawa, Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah”.