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Wednesday April 21, 2010 9:25 AM (EST+7)

JERUSALEM, April 21 (JMCC) - Israel's high court has ordered the Salah family to evacuate the Beit Safafa home where it has lived since 1966.

The family left the home late last week, moving 17 members, including two elderly parents into a nearby tin shack. An Israeli settler group claimed ownership of the property, and after an eight-year court battle, authorities have backed their claim.

Ismail Ali Salah said that the family now lives in fear of the Israeli police, who are expected to visit the area Wednesday to collect approximately 100,000 Israeli shekels, the equivalent of $27,000, in back taxes.

Fateh leader in Jerusalem Hatem Abdel Qader told that he had asked the family to try to remain in the vicinity of the home, calling on neighbors to support the family and advocate for their cause.

The decision of the supreme court forcing the Salah family to evacuate a home in which it has lived for decades confirms the complicity of the Israeli judiciary in looting and seizing the property of citizens, whether in Beit Safafa or Sheikh Jarrah, said head of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, Ziad Hammouri.

He went on to compare conditions in Jerusalem to those in Hebron, where a small number of radical settlers clash almost daily with Palestinian residents.

Similar court-ordered evictions have taken place in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, also part of the area occupied by Israel in 1967. As many as eight families are threatened with eviction in the northern East Jerusalem community.







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