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Beit Yehonatan Gets 30 Day Reprieve

Jewish residents of disputed building in eastern Jerusalem say the decision could mean a long term postponement of their eviction.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/30/2010, 9:50 PM / Last Update: 6/30/2010, 9:46 PM

Flash 90

The Jerusalem Court for Local Affairs rejected on Wednesday a request by Jewish residents of Beit Yehonatan in Shiloach (Silwan) to postpone their eviction but granted a 30 day delay for carrying out the eviction order.

In a conversation with Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service, the residents of the disputed building expressed happiness with the decision. They explained that the decision to postpone the execution of the order means that the order has “moved to the bottom of the list” of such orders that the Jerusalem municipality needs to carry out. The municipality will have to raze about 300 other structures before it reaches Beit Yehonatan, they added.

Beit Yehonatan is a five story structure in the eastern Jerusalem village of Shiloach, which is predominantly Arab. The State has demanded the Jews who live inside be evicted and the building sealed, as per court orders. The Jerusalem municipality has said it will not carry out the order without enforcing similar orders against hundreds of illegal Arab-owned structures in the same village. 

The Knesset's State Control Committee will convene Monday to discuss the way the State Prosecution has been handling the matter of demolitions in eastern Jerusalem, including what Beit Yehonatan residents say were underhanded attempts to make a surprise move against the building.

A nationalist NGO, BeTzedek, recently discovered a list of structures slated for destruction in eastern Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods. The list, BeTzedek says, is proof of the pro-Arab bias of the enforcement authorities, and “was concealed in the Prosecution's cellars” for years.