On Tuesday, Israel was forced to admit to the High Court of Justice that plans enacted to evict 700 Palestinians were not thoroughly investigated and is “flawed,” the Middle East Monitor reports.
During the hearing, the government conceded that the Justice Ministry had neglected to investigate the nature of the Benvenisti Trust, the Ottoman-era law or the condition of the buildings before issuing the deeds.
The ministry had issued title deeds, for the disputed land, to the Trust in 2002, the report stated. The Trust claims that the land had been purchased to resettle Jews from Yemen, in the late 1800s.
According to the report, the Palestinians were being displaced after ownership of their lands were transferred to a right-wing settlement organization, Ateret Cohanim. Hundreds of Palestinians have since resorted to legal action to fight the evictions while others have already been removed from the Batan Al-Hawa area.
“How is it possible to evict them based on such a poor procedure, a procedure that the state today acknowledges making a mistake in?” legal representative of the Palestinian plaintiffs, Muhammad Dahleh, asked.
Palestinians are arguing that the original deeds pertained only to the buildings created prior to 1948, but not the actual land.
Most of the buildings have already been demolished.
International law states that an occupying power should not transfer members of its civilian population to the land being occupied, making Jewish settlements illegal.