Tuesday, August 10, 2021

There is no possible legal way the Arabs at the Sheikh Jarrah building have ownership rights

Here is a detail of the Sheikh Jarrah issue that I was not aware of, from a 2010 report from The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies:

In 1956, in the context of a cooperative project between the government of Jordan and UNRWA, 28 Palestinian refugee families were housed in a residential compound (26 dual-family houses and two single-family houses) that had been constructed in the neighborhood to the east of Nablus Road and south of the cave of Shimon HaTzadik (named the Karam al-Ja’uni” Compound). In exchange, the residents were required to relinquish their refugee ration cards, that is, their right to receive material assistance from relief and works agencies of the United Nations and the Jordanian government. This did not, however, change the Palestinian residents’ status as refugees according to the UNRWA criteria or their demand for return of or monetary compensation for the property they abandoned in Israel. The rental lease that the Arab residents of the compound signed with the government of Jordan stated that the agreement does not in any way affect their rights in their country of origin, and if they return to their original homes they will be required to return the property in this neighborhood to the government of Jordan (see the annexed agreement). Each apartment was 60 square meters in size, on a yard of 350 square meters in size. Every family that entered the compound was required to pay symbolic rental fees to the Jordanian  Ministry of Economy and Development in the sum of one Jordanian dinar per year. The agreement stated that after three years and three months have passed, the residents may renew the lease, under the same conditions, for an additional 30 years, after which they could renew it for another 33 years.
This makes it very clear that Jordan had no intention of giving up the ownership rights to the property. It also means that under Jordanian law, the residents could not live in that house beyond 2022. 

The part that says that if the residents return to their homes in Israel then they must give up this house proves that Jordan “Custodian of Enemy Property.” never gave up its own claims - claims that no longer exist since state property (not private property) transferred over to Israel in 1967. 

The residents claim, improbably, that Jordan promised to give them the land outright after the initial three years, but no one has ever brought any proof for this. Earlier this year Jordan provided evidence that it intended to give them legal title in 1966, but again, that never happened.

This is the only legal agreement about how the land can be used that anyone has seen. Saying that the Palestinian residents "own" it has no legal basis whatsoever. 

Here is the entire agreement: