Yesterday (June 30, 2020), the district court of Jerusalem rejected the Sumarin family’s appeal regarding the eviction lawsuit filed by the Himanuta company, a subsidiarity of the Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF). The court ruled that the family failed to prove its rights to the property and should therefore vacate it in favor of the JNF by August 16, 2020. The JNF received the property from the Custodian of Absentee Property in 1991 and has been conducting eviction proceedings against the family in the courts ever since.
The eviction lawsuit against the Sumarin family is based on the abuse of the Absentees’ Property Law, enacted in 1950 to allow the young State of Israel to deal with the hundreds of thousands of properties abandoned by its Palestinian owners who became refugees during the war in 1948. In 1967 with the annexation of East Jerusalem, Israeli law has been applied to East Jerusalem and Israeli governments have taken advantage of this law in order to ban families, such as the Sumarin family, from their homes and transfer the assets to the settlers.
The Coalition for the Sumarin Family said: “In the ruling, the court did not address the most important, fundamental point, which is that the house was taken in plunder. The JNF’s legal woes did not change the fundamental fact that the use of the Absentees’ Property Law to take over the house was done without good faith, as two government legal advisers and a government inquiry commission, determined”.
In the past few weeks, more than 10,000 people of conscience around the world have called on the Jewish National Fund to remove their hands from the Sumarin family home and immediately stop attempts to throw the family into the street. Among them are 34 recipients of the Israel Prize, 120 world-renowned intellectuals, and 150 graduates and of the JNF youth group.
More on the appeals to the JNF, see here.
The family said it was considering to appeal to the Supreme Court.