After a lengthy legal battle of more than nine years waged by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) on behalf of the Ka’adan family, the Supreme Court established explicitly that the family could purchase a plot of land in the residential community of Katzir
Justices Mazza, Beinish and Joubran rejected the residential community’s objection to the decision by the Israel Lands Authority to allocate a plot of land to the Arab family. During the hearing, that took place last Thursday, Justice Eliahu Mazza levied clear criticism on admissions committees in residential communities, such as that of Katzir, and on the way they make their decisions. Among other issues, he noted that that “today the committee demands a graphology test, tomorrow they could require observation in a psychiatric hospital.” In response to a request by Attorney Dan Yakir, ACRI’s Chief Legal Counsel, who represented the Ka’adan family, the petition remains pending until the purchase contract between the Israel Lands Authority and the Ka’adan family has been signed.
By way of background, in 1995 Adel and Iman Ka’adan first applied to buy a plot of land and build their home in the Katzir community. After the authorities denied the request, ACRI submitted a petition on their behalf to the Supreme Court. The court ruled in March 2000 that the state is not authorized, according to law, to allocate state land to the Jewish Agency for the purpose of establishing the Katzir communal settlement based on a discriminatory policy that differentiates between those who are Jews and those who are not Jews.
During the years following the court ruling, the various authorities (The Israel Lands Authority, The Jewish Agency, and the residential community of Katzir) have done their utmost to block implementation of the judgment and wear down the couple to the point that they will eventually just give up, while attacking the couple’s character. As a result, ACRI submitted an additional petition on behalf of the family to demand that the state agencies implement the court’s ruling. In response to the second petition, the court issued an interim injunction ordering the reservation of a plot of land on the western hill of the residential community where the family originally wanted to build their home, until the summation of the hearing on the second petition.
In May 2004, the Israel Lands Authority informed the Supreme Court of its intention to allocate a plot to the family at the price stipulated in April 1995, the date the family first submitted their request to build a home in the community. The battle did not end there however, and the Supreme Court rejected the Katzir community’s subsequent objection on Thursday.