Daily Israel Report

Legal Move a Ray of Hope for Beit Yehonatan?

Jewish residents, State Prosecution agree that Jerusalem Administrative Court will discuss fate of Beit Yehonatan next week.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/28/2010, 10:06 PM / Last Update: 4/28/2010, 10:45 PM

Flash 90

The State Prosecution and the residents of Beit Yehonatan in the Shiloach neighborhood have agreed to have the Jerusalem Administrative Court decide the fate of the building, which is inhabited by eight Jewish families.

The residents told Attorney General Yehudah Weinstein that they have agreed to request a temporary injunction from the court regarding the property and its inhabitants.

The administrative court, under Judge Nava Ben-Or, would decide the matter and its ruling could be immediately implemented. This procedure essentially circumvents the ongoing appeals process regarding Beit Yehonatan in the court system. 

The Beit Yehonatan residents decided to take their chances with the administrative court after official inspectors conducted measurements at the building Tuesday. This development convinced them that the state would move on with its plans to seal the house without waiting for the appeals process to run its course.

Residents told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service, “We hope the court does not act cold-heartedly.” They said that they would present the court with evidence that only seven of 900 structures in Shiloach – which is inhabited overwhelmingly by Arabs – are legal. Most of the illegal buildings do not face demolition orders and are allowed to stand, they said.

Beit Yehonatan is a five-story structure in the eastern Jerusalem Shiloach neighborhood that is known by Arabs as Silwan. Named after Jewish patriot Jonathan Pollard, it was purchased by Jews who believe in the Jewish right to live anywhere inside Jerusalem. The building was constructed by Arabs, without permits.

Nava Ben-Or is considered to be a protege of Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch.