(IsraelNN.com) Yitzchak Herskovitz had hoped to have his Jerusalem property freed of Arab squatters by today (Wednesday), as the court ordered, but the police said they don't have the men for the job.
Herskovitz, a septegenarian formerly of Los Angeles and now of Kiryat Arba in Judea, bought property in southern Jerusalem in 1992. He has never been able to take possession of it, however, because of Arab squatters living there.
The police have turned down the most recent court order to evict the Arabs because of riots they expect will result. They promise to carry it out within several weeks - but Herskovitz is not optimistic. Though the feisty and colorful Mr. Herskovitz has legal title to the property, located near the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Gilo (Jewish) and Beit Tsafafa (Arab), a clan of Arab squatters say it is theirs. Their claims have alternated between "we received it when the original owner defaulted on a loan" and "we bought it from him."
In 2004, after handwriting and document experts testified that the Arabs' documents were fraudulent, the Jerusalem Magistrates Court ruled in Herskovitz's favor. The Arab clan appealed the ruling in the Jerusalem District Court, which also ultimately ruled in Herskovitz's favor. The squatters then tried another tack, and in 2006, they sued for ownership of the property. The court has not yet ruled on this claim - but has given a hint of its position by issuing an interim order for the squatters to post bond and pay past rent, or else face eviction.
The Arabs did not pay rent or post the bond, and the District Court ruled, once again, that they can be evicted. Herskovitz, in accordance with accepted procedure, applied to the police to carry out the eviction order - but the police turned him down.
Adv. Yaakov Golbert, representing Herskovitz's interests in the foreclosure and reclamation of the party, told IsraelNationalNews what happened: "A police lawyer called me yesterday [Tuesday], and said that the police simply don't have the manpower for the job. They're afraid of riots, and soon [U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza] Rice is coming to the region, and soon it will be Ramadan, etc. etc.
Imagine waiting for Sixteen plus years and still not be able to take possession of the property one owns. It sounds like a record but it simply isn’t.