An Israeli court Wednesday ruled to evict eight Arab families from their houses in Ramla city in Israel within a month, under the pretext of being ‘unprotected tenants.’
The owner of the houses, Abdel Razek El-Ajou, said that he bought a piece of land and a house from the Israel Lands Administration (ILA) in 1960, through a protected lease by the Israeli housing company, Amidar. He built new houses for his sons in line with the contract, where the house owners paid monthly rents to the company.
“Five years ago, Amidar stopped receiving the rents and filed a law suit against us in the court demanding to evict us. The company claimed that we are unprotected tenants. The court decided to uproot and evict us,” El-Ajou added.
Protected lease in Israel gives the tenants certain privileges such as their rent being regulated by the government and representing only 10-20 percent of the market price. They are also protected from eviction even after the rental contract has elapsed, and they are entitled to transfer their rights to other tenants and to receive substantial compensation in return.
Social activist Buthaina Dabit said that the eviction orders come in line with the continuous Israeli deportation policy against Arab residents of Lydd and Ramla since the 1948 Nakba, when Israel was founded by seizing Palestinian land.
Dozens of social and political activists are gathering at the El-Ajou family house yard to demonstrate against uprooting the family who has been living there for more than 50 years.
Jihan El-Ajou thanked those standing in solidarity with her family and said that the demolition of their houses is a big disaster because they do not have anywhere else to go.
Knesset Member Hanna Swaid said that he will raise the issue with the Knesset next week and called for the support of El-Ajou family, urging all activists participating in the protests to remain in the area to prevent the execution of the eviction order.
Original article: WAFA