Property Restitution and Compensation Rights

United Press International
September 28, 1998

AMMAN, Jordan, Sept. 28 (UPI) — An Israeli court has made an 
unprecedented ruling that the Hebrew University return property it took
in 1948 when Israel was created to an Arab Christian group in a legal
battle that began in 1953.

Jordanian lawyers say (today) the precedent will encourage many 
Jordanians of Palestinian origin to reclaim property they lost to Israel
in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

More than half of Jordan’s population are Palestinians who fled their 
homes in 1948 and in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War when Israel captured the
West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Jordan’s official news agency, Petra, said an Israeli court ruled 
that the Hebrew University evacuate and return to the Guardians of the
Holy Land Association, or the Franciscan Fathers Monastery, a total of
11,500 square meters of land in which the former Terra Sancta College
stands.

The property in west Jerusalem is adjacent to Israeli Prime Minister 
Binyamin Netanyahu’s residence.

Petra quoted the association’s lawyer Mu’een Khoury as saying that 
the court ruled that the Hebrew University pay the Franciscan Fathers a
total of $5.5 million of accumulated rent on installments.

It did not say when the court ruling took place. 

The news agency, which said the Christian group had filed a series of 
law suits against the Hebrew University from 1953 to 1995, said the
university “is afraid of the reaction of extremist Jews on this
precedent.”

The news agency, which said the Christian group had filed a series of 
law suits against the Hebrew University from 1953 to 1995, said the
university “is afraid of the reaction of extremist Jews on this
precedent.”

Legal sources in the Jordanian capital Amman said the court’s ruling 
will encourage many Palestinians who left behind property in 1948 to
reclaim their lands and homes taken by Israelis.

They said legal efforts by Palestinians to do so had failed in the 
past and have stopped trying to reclaim their property thinking it was
Israeli policy to keep them under Israeli ownership.

According to the 1993 Palestinian-Israeli interim agreements, the two 
sides are to negotiate the status of Palestinian refugees who fled in
1948 and their lost property. The Palestinians hope Israel will abide by
U.N. Security Council Resolution 194, which allows the refugees to
return to their homes or be compensated.

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