The proposal by Israel’s Supreme Court would have made Palestinian families “protected tenants” for at least the next 15 years but would have forced them to acknowledge illegal Jewish settlers as owners of the properties.
Palestinian families in a tense neighbourhood of the occupied East Jerusalem have rejected an offer that would have delayed their eviction by illegal Jewish settlers.
In a statement on Tuesday, the four families said their decision springs from “our belief in the justice of our cause and our right to our homes and our homeland.”
"The people of Sheikh Jarrah rejected the settlement proposal," the family member and social media activist Mohammed El Kurd tweeted.
The proposal floated by Israel's Supreme Court earlier this month would have made them “protected tenants” blocking any eviction and demolition order for at least the next 15 years, according to Ir Amim, an Israeli rights group that closely follows developments in the city.
But it would have forced them to acknowledge the settlers' ownership of the properties, which could weaken the families' case going forward.
The families’ plight helped ignite protests and clashes earlier this year that eventually led to the 11-day war on Gaza.
READ MORE: Israel's new plan: Build a ring of settlements and go deeper into Palestine
Statement from the families of Sheikh Jarrah pic.twitter.com/737MFmUwyW— Mohammed El-Kurd (@m7mdkurd) November 2, 2021
Threatened with eviction
The four families are among dozens in occupied East Jerusalem who are threatened with eviction by Jewish settler organisations in several cases that are at various legal stages.
The settlers are taking advantage of an Israeli law that allows them to claim properties that were owned by Jews prior to the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation.
Palestinians who lost homes, properties and lands in the same conflict do not have the right to recover them.
Israel captured East Jerusalem along with the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 war.
Israel annexed East Jerusalem shortly after the 1967 war and considers the entire city to be its capital, a claim not recognised by most of the international community.
READ MORE: Israel approves more than 1,300 settlement homes in occupied West Bank