Jerusalem24 – The Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, reported today, Monday, that the Israeli Magistrate’s Court in Jerusalem recently endorsed a position of the “guardian” or “custodian” of absentee property. Refusing to disclose the scope of the assets for fear of harming foreign relations, which is one of the reasons that allows the Israeli authorities to not provide information about their actions before the courts.
This came in response to an appeal submitted by Israeli lawyers to reveal the scope of those assets related to the absentees’ property, as the court decided to reject the request and impose legal costs on its applicants; who decided to submit another appeal to a higher court.
The “Absentees’ Property” unit of the Israeli Ministry of Finance manages hundreds of properties in occupied East Jerusalem. According to a law passed in 1950, which allows the occupying power to keep any property whose owner lives in a country classified as “hostile” during the “emergency period.” This has continued since then and until now.
Using this law, Israel seized all the property left behind by Palestinian refugees in 1948, and after 1967 the law was applied to the areas of East Jerusalem after its occupation. Any Palestinian who has property in those areas and lives in the West Bank or an Arab country, has his or her property automatically transferred to a “guardian” or “custodian.”
According to the newspaper, these properties strain the real estate market and create a state of economic and planning chaos, noting that residents are afraid of making real estate deals in the East of the city.