Jews finally moved into a home in Jerusalem on Tuesday with help from the police after a court ordered Arab squatters to leave. The building is located in Jabal Mukaber, located near the Old City that is already home to several Jewish families and in part of the capital where the Palestinian Authority claims sovereignty.
The squatters, members of the Kuraeen family, made international news after claiming the eviction was a sign that Jews are planning a “new settlement” in the capital city.
While the French news agency AFP referred to the building the Kuraeen family was told to leave as “their home,” in fact, the family had never owned the structure. Rather, family members were related to a deceased man who had owned the building and who sold it several years ago for $450,000.
The building was purchased by Lowell Investments. The Kuraeen family said they had protested the sale, but a court rejected their appeal, finding that the man who sold the building had been the sole lawful owner.
The Kuraeen family was backed by the extremist Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement group.
Well over 200,000 Jews live in parts of the greater Jerusalem area that are beyond the 1949 armistice line. An estimated 2,000 live in historically Jewish neighborhoods, such as Jabal Mukaber and Shiloach (Silwan), where Arabs took over the areas, often with the help of British authorities in the time of the British Mandate.
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