On June 10, Israel’s Supreme court held the hearing of the petition of the residents of Batan Al-Hawa, a Silwan neighborhood, threatened to be evicted as a result of the transfer of their land by the Custodian General to a settlers’ trust, controlled by Ateret Cohanim, in 2002. During the hearing, the State’s attorney admitted that the transfer to the trust has been done without a proper investigation of the trust by the Ministry of Justice. Yet, in the same breath, Israeli State’s attorney asked the court to dismiss anyway the petition on the ground that it was filed 16 years after the transfer and claimed a lack of information. The admission of the State’s attorney, and its decision to turn a blind eye on the flaws that characterized the transfer to the trust, demonstrate in the most unequivocal way the extent of the government’s complicity with the settlers’ activities and its backing for their agenda even when it requires a blunt violation of the law. On June 18, the Court ordered the State to provide more information about the decision to transfer the land (to be provided within 30 days) and also requested additional information from the petitioners.
We already reported several times on the settlers’ determination to expand their presence and create a settlement enclave in the heart of this Palestinian neighborhood (see here and here). Al Jazeera’s video report on this specific case is here.