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Israel evicts Arab family from their house in Yaffa

Palestinian residents of Jaffa perform a Friday prayer in the open area ahead of a protest against the destruction of the historic Muslim Al-Isaf cemetery affiliated to Tel Aviv municipality by Israeli authorities in Jaffa, Israel on June 12, 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf / Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian residents of Yaffa protest against Israel's demolition on June 12, 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf / Anadolu Agency]

Israeli state-owned housing company, Amidar, yesterday ordered Palestinian citizen of Israel Rawda Ayesh to vacate her house in Yaffa within 20 days, claiming her lease had expired half a year ago, Arab48 reported.

Rawda has been living in this house along with her son, daughter and four grandsons for 16 years as a protected tenant. She suffers from very difficult economic and health conditions.

Arab groups and activists in the city began a sit-in in front of her house as soon as she received the news, calling for action against the decision.

"The municipality broke its pledges towards us," Rawda said, highlighting a promise made by its head to reach a reconciliation regarding the house. "They were false pledges," she said.

Rawda says she is facing an "economic arsenal," adding: "Amidar plans to forcefully evict me for economic purposes."

READ: Israel court freezes eviction order of 3 Palestine families in Sheikh Jarrah

She called for a "fair" reconciliation. "I do not want crumbs, I need enough money to buy a new house," she told Arab48. "I want to live in dignity along with my sons and grandsons."

Arab municipality member Abed Abu Shehadeh said: "We had hoped to reach a fair reconciliation with Amidar as we thought it would take social and humanitarian issues into consideration. We did not expect to see this eviction order so quickly."

"Rawda is aware of the legal issues related to the house, but she wants a safe alternative," he said, adding that she was not given all details about this issue when she rented the house, and said that the municipality is responsible for solving her problem.

"We had filed a petition for the District Court which ruled NIS5,000 [$1,560] in compensation for her in return for leaving the house," lawyer Mariam Kabboub told Arab48. "We rejected this rule and we will not accept less than a house in return for the evacuation."

"Then," the lawyer said, "we turned to the High Court which rejected the appeal."

"We want nothing more than the right of this lady to live in dignity in the city," she concluded.

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