Assuming this post by the Elder of Ziyon is accurate, it appears that the people occupying and claiming ownership of the currently disputed property in Sheikh Jarrah do not have the proverbial leg to stand on.
- In 1956, Jordan and UNRWA allowed Palestinian refugee families to live in newly constructed property
- In exchange, the families gave up their refugee ration cards, but not their status as refugees according to UNWRA
- The lease provided that if they returned to their original homes they had to return the property to Jordan
- The lease ran for three years and three months after which it could be renewed on the same conditions for 30 more years, after which they could renew it for another 33 years
- Payment under the lease was nominal
- There is NOTHING that gives the families any ownership right
Note that if they renewed the lease, they are tenants until 2022. However, it’s unclear if they did or even could renew the lease. Also, as I understand it, they have refused to pay any rent – peppercorn or otherwise – which undermines the rights they might have had as sitting tenants. But, the key aspect of this factual information is that it comprehensively demolishes the occupiers’ claims of ownership. False, false, false.
Damn these facts sure are tricky. They just don’t seem to stack up the way Israel’s critics would like. (Which is why such people ignore facts and promote emotional propaganda.) But it would have been nice if the usual suspects in the media made a token attempt to mention the facts when stirring up their anti-Israel supporters.
To close, let me make it crystal clear that I am not jumping for joy that anybody might be turfed out of what they see as their home because of the current eviction action. But by the same token, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. As a general rule, people shouldn’t live rent free and certainly shouldn’t expect to live rent free.