Palestinians facing eviction from the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah rejected a deal on Tuesday that would have seen them accept the temporary ownership of their homes by an Israeli settler organisation.
The long-running legal battle over the evictions helped trigger an 11-day war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, and the case has been a regular source of tension across East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
Seeking a compromise, Israel’s Supreme Court in October proposed a deal that would have seen four Palestinian families remain in their homes for 15 years as “protected tenants” while paying rent to settlers who claim the land.
The court gave the families until Nov. 2 to decide whether to accept.
“We unanimously rejected the settlement offered by the occupation (Israeli) court,” Muna El-Kurd, one of the Palestinians facing eviction, said at a press conference.
“This refusal comes from our faith in the justice of our case and our rights to our homes and homeland,” said El-Kurd, wearing a jacket embellished with the words “No Fear”. She was flanked by other residents.