Sunday, April 22

A Small Victory in the Legal Fight Against the House Demolitions in Jaffa

The Court of Justice cancelled the demolition order against the Saba family today. Lawyer Ibtissam Tanos (who volunteered her services) convinced the court to cancel the demolition order. The court believed it to be unjust to remove the Saba family with their three young children from the home in which the father has lived some 40 years.

Amidar, the housing company, and the the Israel Land Administration were considered to have acted "not in good faith".
Of course this is just a first stage, but the Sabas can sleep quietly tonight.


Tsedek said...

That's good to hear. Now the rest as well. Why don't they just renovate those houses and that's it?

yudit said...

The houses, most of them, were owned by Palestinian families until 1948. then the so-called "Israel land administration" (Minhal mekarkey Israel) took over as "nahasim nifkadim" and they were rented out (sometimes to the original owner) through the Amidar public housing company, who takes rent and is supposed to take care of the upkeep of the houses.
Whioch they do not do. Often, at some point, the house is declared "dangerous", the family kicked out, then the house is renovated and sold for much money to new owners.
That's one of the very ugly stories of many houses along "rehov 60" (Kedem street), whose original inhabitants live in the slum of "Shem HaGdolim" housing estate.
When you rent a house it is the OWNER who should do the upkeep....
You cannot even get a building permit.
At the same time, due to the law on public housing, the fathers and sons (or mothers and daughters) have become protected tenants, but that does not count for the grandchildren, the third generation. As a result, they are considered "squatters" (although they were actually born in the house and grew up in it) from a legal point of view.
This is what has created the "legal" option of kicking them out and as the properties, close to the sea, have become very valuable...
Renovation is NOT the problem. Ownership and rights are....
In fact, some of the the tenants have renovated their own houses (as the rental company didn't do so). But for most this isn't an option, as they are very poor families.

Tsedek said...

Very ugly situation I must say. Totally unfair :(

I can not explain it logically but somehow I wouldn't mind so much if this was concerning relatively rich people, but the greed from the rich inflicting this injustice on the poor makes me want to puke. GRRR. Disgusting, really.

yudit said...

third generation protected inhabitants rights is a problem not only in Jaffa, but in many neighbourhoods elsewhere as well (e.g. Bat Yam). As long as we are talking "poor" neighbourhoods. where no one wants to actually buy the homes, this raises few problems due to low demand.
However, when a neighbourhood becomes attractive (Jaffa's Ajami or e.g. Bat Yam close to the beach) some streets in south Tel Aviv), the problem raises its ugly head.
In Tel Aviv, solutions have been found. In Ajami, none.