Update: Attorney General Declines Request To Intervene In Eviction Cases In Sheikh Jarrah

07 June 2021
Today (June 7), the Attorney General of Israel submitted his response to the request to intervene in the eviction cases of seven Palestinian families (13 households) in Sheikh Jarrah in two different legal petitions currently pending a Supreme Court decision on their request to appeal. The Attorney General informed the Supreme Court that after reviewing the relevant documents and previous legal proceedings, he has decided not to intervene in the cases.
According to the Israeli press, the Attorney General's office stated that the cases' legal premise is unfavorable towards the Palestinian families, which makes it nearly impossible to legally prevent their eviction. The Haaretz article also noted that sources close to the Attorney General remarked that the political echelon likewise believes that the state should not intervene.
A hearing will likely be convened sometime in the coming weeks or months before a Supreme Court panel of judges whereby they will rule on the families' requests to appeal. The assumption is that the decision will not be favorable to the families, leading to the likely rejection of the requests. A total of seven Palestinian families (13 households), numbering approximately 60 people, could therefore be at heightened risk of eviction.
As noted previously, the District Court rejected the appeal of four families (Askafi, Al Kurd, Abu Hasna and Ja’uni) from Sheikh Jarrah in February 2021 followed by a similar court dismissal in the appeal of three additional families (Dajani, Daoudi, Hammad) in March 2021. The four families were ordered to vacate their homes by May 2, while the three families were instructed to vacate their homes by August 1. All of the families have filed requests to appeal to the Supreme Court, whose decision is currently pending in these cases.
In early May, as the threat of eviction drew near, the four families (Askafi, Al Kurd, Abu Hasna, Ja’uni – 6 households) submitted a request for the Attorney General's intervention in their cases. Against the backdrop of mounting tensions and increasing global attention to the issue, on May 9, the Attorney General asked the Supreme Court to postpone the hearing scheduled for May 10 to allow him time to weigh his involvement. In response, the Supreme Court deferred the hearing for at least 30 days. The three additional families (Dajani, Daoudi, Hammad--seven households) likewise filed a request for the Attorney General's involvement in their cases, and on May 12, the Supreme Court gave the Attorney General 30 days to respond. The Attorney General's declination today related to the requests of both sets of families.
Attorney General's Opinion Still Pending in Eviction Cases in Silwan
It should be noted that the Attorney General's legal opinion is still pending in the eviction cases of eight families from Batan al-Hawa, Silwan. The Supreme Court sought the Attorney General's position on legal matters pertaining to the cases of the Duweik, Shweiki and Odeh families (8 households). The cases of an additional seven families at the District Court likewise hinge on the Attorney General's position in the cases of the eight families at the Supreme Court level. Following the request for another extension, the Supreme Court has given the Attorney General until June 30 to submit his opinion.
On Thursday, June 10, the appeal of two additional families (Ghaith family) facing eviction from Batan al-Hawa will be heard at the District Court.
Acute Ramifications
The eviction procedures in both Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan largely reflect one another and are predicated on the same discriminatory legal mechanism, which state-sponsored settler groups are exploiting to systemically dispossess Palestinian families and seize their homes for Jewish settlement. A total of 1000 Palestinians – some 300 individuals from Sheikh Jarrah and more than 700 people from Silwan— are under threat of mass displacement.  
These measures not only constitute a flagrant violation of human rights, but also carry far-reaching, humanitarian, geopolitical, and moral implications. Concerted pressure must be exerted on the Israeli government to end these measures of dispossession and to undertake a sustainable and just solution for the families to remain in their homes.