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The Israeli Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a group of families facing eviction from a neighborhood in East Jerusalem could remain in their homes, a verdict that could potentially ease tensions in the district that sparked the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas last year, the Associated Press reported.
The judges said the families could stay in their homes until Israel conducted a land arrangement, a process that could either take years or not be carried out at all.
A number of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem are facing eviction by Jewish settler organizations, including those in neighborhoods such as Sheikh Jarrah.
Last year, the dispute escalated into clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, eventually culminating in a war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Tuesday’s ruling comes nearly two months after Israeli police evicted two Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, the New York Times reported.
The issue of evictions stems from decades-old legal battles between Palestinian residents and Jewish settlers: During the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured the West Bank – including East Jerusalem – and annexed it.
Most of the international community does not recognize Israel’s annexation but the country considers the city its capital.
Palestinians, meanwhile, want East Jerusalem to be their capital for their future state.