JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s state prosecutor ordered the mayor of Jerusalem not to legalize a Jewish building in eastern Jerusalem and to seal it as required by the court.
Moshe Lador in a letter sent Sunday to Nir Barkat praised the mayor for saying that he would implement the long-standing court order to evacuate and seal off Beit Yonatan, a seven-story building in Silwan built without a permit five years ago by the right-wing group Ateret Cohanim.
Barkat said last week that he would enforce an order to seal off the home in the Arab neighborhood, but said he also would demolish up to 200 illegally built Palestinian structures in the area.
The Jerusalem District Court rejected an appeal by the eight families that live in the building to set aside the evacuation order, so that they can win approval for a new building plan.
Barkat has ordered his staff to coordinate with police in preparation for the demolition of dozens of illegal buildings in Silwan, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.
The orders come after Barkat spent several months drawing up a plan to redevelop and legalize housing in a section of Silwan in which some 100 Palestinian families live in illegally built homes.