Jerusalem mayor defies eviction order

Dec. 27, 2010 at 7:21 AM

JERUSALEM, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Israel's attorney general said he would conduct an urgent meeting to examine why his orders to evict Jewish residents in Silwan were ignored, officials said.

Yehuda Weinstein's call for a Monday meeting followed a declaration by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat that a compromise had been reached and the eviction of Jewish residents from Beit Yonatan, a building in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, would be postponed, Israel's Channel One said.

Barkat said he would only agree to evict residents from Beit Yonatan if the Abu Nab family members who reside in a nearby building that served as a Yemenite synagogue until the 1948 War of Independence were evicted from their home at the same time.

Barkat said the Jewish owners of the Abu Nab building agreed not to press for their eviction in exchange for postponing the evacuation of Beit Yonatan, the television report said.

A heavy police presence was deployed in the Silwan neighborhood Sunday in advance of planned evictions. The same day, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal lodged by Jewish residents of Beit Yonatan to postpone their eviction, the newspaper said.

Barkat has succeeded in preventing the evacuation of Beit Yonatan for years, the newspaper said.

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