Mengden medieoppmerksomhet om og den sterke fordømmelsen av at «israelske bosettere flytter inn i husene til fordrevne palestinere» i Jerusalem nylig gir oss en indikasjon på at det er mer ved denne saken enn vi får vite gjennom norske aviser og TV-stasjoner. Det viser seg at de palestinske innbyggerne i bygningene det gjelder har oppholdt seg ulovlig der i en årrekke, og at de ikke har villet etterkomme tidligere krav fra rettsvesenet om å fjerne seg. Årsaken til den juridiske tautrekkingen er ulik rettspraksis – og for Jordans vedkommende iblandet såret stolthet over tapet av krigen i 1967 – i de forskjellige statene som har administrert Øst-Jerusalem:
According to a report issued in May by Ir Amim, a non-profit group that engages Israeli-Palestinian issues in the capital, the Jordanian government took control of these plots under the Enemy Property Law during its rule from 1948 to 1967.
In 1956, 28 Palestinian families that had been receiving refugee assistance from UNRWA were selected to benefit from a relief project, in which they forfeited their refugee aid and moved into homes built on «formerly Jewish property leased by the Custodian of Enemy Property to the Ministry of Development,» the Ir Amim report states.
The agreement stipulated that the ownership of the homes was to be put in the families’ names – a step that never took place.
In 1972, two Israeli organizations – the Sephardic Community Committee and the Knesset Yisrael Committee – began notifying the residents that they owed rent, and initiated a process with the Israel Lands Administration to register the land in their names, also based on 19th-century Ottoman-era documents.
In 1982, the two committees brought a lawsuit against 23 families for rent delinquency.
Itzhak Toussia-Cohen, the lawyer representing the Palestinians, did not contest the legitimacy of the committees’ ownership claims, and instead arrived at a court-ordered settlement – a binding agreement that can be appealed only if proven to be based on false grounds – that secured «protected tenancy» status for the residents.
The families claim Toussia-Cohen did not have their authorization to make this agreement, but it has served as the precedent for rulings on subsequent appeals, including the present-day cases.
While it remains unclear when Nachalat Shimon entered the picture, it became part of the legal proceedings in 2003 when it filed a joint case with the committees against the state and the Kurd family – one of the original families to be sued for rent delinquency and eviction, and which was eventually evicted from their home as well.
En rekke områder i Israel berøres av samme juridiske problematikk. Dette blir neppe siste gang vestlige journalister og såkalte menneskerettighetsorganisasjoner går i fistel over fullstendig legitime avgjørelser fra israelsk høyesterett.