Six days before their court hearing, without demolition orders, the Jerusalem Municipality demolished the Salhiya family's businesses. The family stood on the roof of their home to stop bulldozers. Then, at 2am on January 18 2022, the police and army invaded both Salhiya family homes, forcibly detained family members, releasing them only after the houses were destroyed. Though the families lost everything, the court requires them to pay fees before they can sue for damages. They ask your help.
Eminent domain without appeal or compensation violates Israeli and international laws. The extended Salhiah family lost their land, homes, and businesses - they went from working their own land to no land, no home at all. These unjust demolitions during a pandemic emboldened the Israeli Government to order more Palestinian evictions. According to B'Tselem theirs were among twenty-nine structures demolished this year in or near the parts of the West Bank annexed to Jerusalem's municipal boundary.
The Salhiah family has a strong lawsuit because the demolitions were illegal and there was no demolition order. The Jerusalem District Court agreed to hear their suit as long as they pay half the court fee, $23,000 USD. At the families' request, Torat Tzedek (Torah of Justice), an NGO registered in Israel, partnered with RA to manage this legal aid fund. When they win, returned court fees will seed revolving funds for E.Jerusalem cases. Please help the Salhiah family have their day in court.
These are #SaveSheikJarrah families -their success in court will restore a measure of justice and create an invaluable legal precedent. As people throughout the world pitch-in, knowing that others care about them can help the families heal - and may help others take heart as they too seek due process to prevent expropriation, eviction, and demolition. Holding the Jerusalem Municipality accountable for their actions can, in time, see an end to injustice & create a basis for fair law and peace.
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