The Tel Aviv District Court has handed down its ruling on the dispute over the eviction and compensation of the residents of Givat Amal in north Tel Aviv, where Elad Israel Residence, controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva, is building luxury residential towers in a project it calls Bavli Dekel. The site is next to the established Tel Aviv neighborhood of Bavli.
The ruling states that the residents on the site may be evicted at any time, subject to giving them compensation to the value of equivalent housing. The ruling applies only to families resident on the site since before 1961.
In 1948, during the War of Independence, after the Arab residents fled the village of Jamusin, the Tel Aviv municipality settled Jewish refugees from the areas of the battles in the south of the city on the site. Unlike the neighboring areas of Bavli, Tsameret and Givat Amal A, however, the status of Givat Amal B was never regularized.
In 1961, it was decided that BP Diyur, the company that received the land from the state, would build residential buildings, and that the residents would be entitled to apartments equivalent to those that would be built. BP Diyur never carried out construction, however, and in 1987 sold the land to Dankner Investments, which eventually became Elad Israel Residence after it was bought by Yitzhak Tshuva's Delek Real Estate.
In 2015, Elad Israel Residence sued for the eviction of the residents of the Givat Amal B site, most of them the second or third generation descendants of the original residents who came in 1948. Some of the residents settled with Elad Israel Residence and vacated their homes in return for financial compensation. Fourteen families still living on the site continued the legal battle. In 2017, after visiting the site, Judge Menachem Klein proposed that the families should vacate the site in return for compensation of up to NIS 2 million each, depending on individual circumstances. The sides rejected the proposal and continued with legal proceedings. Today's ruling is meant to bring the matter to a close.
The compensation awarded to the fourteen families at Givat Amal totals NIS 42 million. The court ruled that they should not be awarded apartments in the new development. Judge Kobi Vardi expressed reservation about the term "squatters", which Elad Israel Residence accused the residents of being, but ruled that they did not have proprietary rights. In other words, as soon as they receive the money, the residents are obliged to leave, although they do have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 23, 2019
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