JERUSALEM, April 2, 2012 (WAFA) – The Israeli Supreme Court Monday rejected an appeal by the heirs of the late Jerusalem mufti, Hajj Amin Husseini, against the Israeli government sale of the residence, also known as the Shepherd Hotel, located in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Rafiq Husseini, one of the heirs, told WAFA the court rejected the appeal under the pretext the Husseini family was too late to file a lawsuit against the government for selling the family-owned property.
The Israeli government confiscated the Husseini property under the Absentee Property Law and sold it in 1985 to the Jewish-American billionaire Irving Moskowitz, a known supporter of settlement activities, who aims to build housing blocs for Jewish settlers.
In addition, the property was used by the Israeli Borders Guard for several years, which empowered the settlers’ illegal takeover of the hotel, said Husseini.
He stressed that the heirs will seek justice from the international law, which prohibits the occupier from benefiting or disposition of property in the occupied land, since international law recognizes East Jerusalem as an occupied city.
In 2011, Moskowitz demolished part of the historical property for the construction of housing units for settlers, which received wide condemnation from the European Union, the United Nations, and United States.