Bennett Won't Order Arab Eviction From Sheikh Jarrah - Gov't Source

By JPost
Posted on 07/27/21 | News Source: JPost

The government does not plan to evict Arab residents of Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood over a property dispute in light of how heated the matter has become, according to a source close to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

The High Court of Justice scheduled a hearing for Monday on the eviction of four Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, the east Jerusalem neighborhood known in Hebrew as Shimon Hatzadik. Lower courts have upheld claims that the property is owned by the Nahalat Shimon Company, which seeks to develop the land for Jewish housing.

Even if the verdict allows for the eviction of the Palestinian residents, the court is unlikely to order the state to enact it or give a deadline to do so, the source close to Bennett said, adding that the government will take advantage of that to not fuel the flames of conflict in Jerusalem.

A 1991 decision by then-attorney-general Yosef Harish grants the police authority to decline to implement evictions if is a great danger from doing so. 
The High Court is expected to rule on the matter of Sheikh Jarrah while Bennett's National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata and Diplomatic Adviser Shimrit Meir plan to be in Washington to meet with their American counterparts ahead of a visit by the prime minister to the White House, likely to take place in late August. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has repeatedly expressed concern that evictions in Sheikh Jarrah could spark tensions and even war.

The plight of Sheikh Jarrah’s residents has received international attention, and not evicting them will refute claims that the fighting between Israel and terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip in May began because of evictions in the Jerusalem neighborhood, the source added.

Israel has argued that Hamas, which shot a barrage of rocket at Jerusalem and thousands into other areas of Israel, took up the issue of Jerusalem and escalated its attacks as part of a power struggle with the Palestinian Authority after the PA canceled a parliamentary election.