Israeli Supreme Court Offers Compromise Deal to Palestinians Facing Evictions

The Israeli Supreme Court on Aug. 2 proposed a compromise deal to Palestinians facing evictions from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

The court was supposed to reach a final decision to end the decades-long legal battle, but instead offered a “practical solution” for the Palestinians and the Jewish settlers.

“What we are saying is, let’s move from the level of principles to the levels of practicality,” Justice Isaac Amit told the courtroom, as quoted by British news outlet The Guardian.

“People must continue to live there and that’s the idea, to try to reach a practical arrangement,” Amit further said.

The proposed compromise would give 70 Palestinians “protected status” as tenants, allowing dozens of families to stay in their homes “for the coming years” as long as they pay an annual rent of 1,500NIS ($465) to the Nahalat Shimon company, a Jewish settler organization that lower courts have ruled as the rightful owners of the disputed land.

The court gave the Palestinians seven days to present a list of names of qualified residents for protected tenancy, effectively giving them a week to consider the compromise.

“There is no date for the decision that the court will issue,” Sami Ershaid, a lawyer for the Palestinian families, said after the hearing, as quoted by NBC News.

The controversial case helped spark the 11-day fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militant group Hamas last May, which was some of the worst violence across Jerusalem in years. Over 200 Palestinians and at least 12 people in Israel died from the fighting.

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