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Sheikh Jarrah residents urge Jordan to hand over missing home ownership documents 

May 17, 2021 at 3:11 pm

Ahmed Tibi (centre 3rd-L), member of the Knesset for the Joint List and leader of the Arab Movement for Change (Ta’al) party, alongside ex-Knesset member Jamal Zahalka (centre 2nd-L), attend a press conference held by local elders of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, on May 6, 2021, where the locals requested help from the Palestinian Authority and Jordan regarding the legal status of their homes [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

The residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem have urged the Jordanian government to hand them missing documents proving their ownership of the homes from which Israel wants to displace them.

Human rights activist and lawyer Muhammad Abu Zand said that the documents given by Amman to the Palestinian Authority in April in an effort to help prevent Israel from expelling the Palestinian families are “insufficient”. They do not support, he said, the residents’ legal standing before the Israeli Supreme Court.

In 1956, 28 refugee families who lost their homes during the Nakba reached an agreement with the Jordanian Ministry of Construction and Development and UNRWA to provide housing for them in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. At that time, the West Bank was under Jordanian rule (1951-1967).

According to the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ), “A contract was concluded with one of the main conditions being that the residents pay a symbolic fee, provided that ownership is transferred to them after three years.”

WATCH: Israel continues its aggression on Sheikh Jarrah

However, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including Jerusalem, in 1967 has prevented the houses from being registered under the families’ names.

In April, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said that it had provided the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with 14 ratified agreements meant for the people of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem which support their claim to their land and property.

The ministry said it had previously provided the Palestinians with all the documents that could help Jerusalemites maintain their full rights, including lease contracts, lists of beneficiaries’ names and a copy of the agreement concluded with UNRWA.