Gaza, Alray - Israel Supreme Court discussed on Monday the Absentee Property Law, critics say it is used to unjustly seize Palestinian property at the edge of Jerusalem.
At least two attorneys general and a district court judge have over the years come out against the law. The hearing on Monday came after the state appealed to the Supreme Court to vacate a district court’s ruling that the law not be applied in Jerusalem, Haaretz reported.
The purpose of the Absentee Property Law, passed in 1950, was to take possession of property belonged to Palestinian refugees. According to the law, any person present in an enemy country or outside Israel is considered an absentee, and his property goes to the Custodian of Absentee Property, today a body within the Justice Ministry.
Israel uses the Absentee Property Law as a tool to increase the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem.
An expanded bench of seven justices headed by Supreme Court President Asher Grunis asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to appear personally to explain the state’s position.
The justices are to make a ruling at a later date.