Skip to main content

Israel court freezes eviction order of Palestinian family

Fatima Salem (C) looks on as Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff, head of the European Union's mission to the West Bank and Gaza Strip (R), speaks to the media during his visit to her home in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, December 20, 2021
— Jerusalem (AFP)

An Israeli court on Tuesday froze the planned eviction of a Palestinian family in the flashpoint east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, pending an appeal.

The Salem family had been ordered to surrender the property to Jewish settlers who have claimed ownership of the plot.

Sheikh Jarrah has become a symbol of Palestinian resistance against Israeli control of Jerusalem, and the Salem family's imminent eviction made them a growing focus of the tensions there.

The land rights battle between Jewish settlers and Palestinians in the neighbourhood has sparked clashes and partly fuelled the 11-day war in May between Israel and armed groups in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian family received their eviction order in November, with a deadline to vacate by March 1.

A lawyer for the family, Medhat Diba, said the Jerusalem Magistrate's court agreed to suspend the eviction until it ruled on an appeal launched by the Palestinians.

The court also released a decision confirming the freeze.

Khalil Salem, a member of the family, told AFP the decision was "a positive step because we were on the verge of losing our house."

Earlier this month clashes broke out when far-right Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir opened a tent "office" near the family's house after an alleged Palestinian arson of a settler's home nearby.

The United Nations said its personnel visited the Salem family on February 18.

Israel annexed east Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as their future capital, following the 1967 Six-Day War in a move not recognised by most of the international community.

Jewish settlers groups have won legal victories claiming ownership of various plots where Palestinians live, using an Israeli law that allows Jews to reclaim land lost during the conflict that coincided with Israel's creation in 1948.

But no equivalent land reclamation law exists for Palestinians who lost homes in west Jerusalem.

Seven Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah have challenged their planned evictions at Israel's Supreme Court, with highly-anticipated decisions pending.

More than 200,000 settlers now live in east Jerusalem, alongside about 300,000 Palestinians. The Jewish settlements in the city are considered illegal under international law.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial