On the eve of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, 20 families are expected to be evicted from their homes in the Givat Amal neighborhood without just compensation. Neighborhood residents and supporters took to the streets in north Tel Aviv and blocked main roads to protest the imminent eviction.
Photos and text: Keren Manor/Activestills
Residents and supporters of the embattled north Tel Aviv neighborhood of Givat Amal gathered on Monday to demonstration against the feared impending eviction of 20 families. The families, whose homes sit on land purchased by Israeli tycoon Yitzhak Tshuva, are in danger of immediate eviction next Wednesday, without just compensation, and may find themselves on the streets on the eve of the Jewish New Year. Tshuva plans to build luxury apartment towers where the homes stand today.
At a Tel Aviv City Council meeting held on September 14, a majority voted to order the municipality to contact police and ask them to postpone evictions until after the holidays. In addition, the city council decided to follow up on mediation efforts by the municipality between residents and landowners.
About 200 residents and supporters gathered in the neighborhood’s protest tent before starting their march. MKs Dov Khenin and Ayelet Shaked who took part in the demonstration put out a joint statement, saying:
“We urge entrepreneurs and police to stop the evictions and to act in accordance with the requests of the Knesset and the municipality. Hold fair negotiations with the residents about compensation and not to throw people out of their homes.”
The demonstrators descended from the neighborhood toward one of Tel Aviv’s busiest intersections, blocking the road and chanting against the planned evictions. Residents of the Kfar Shalem Summayel neighborhoods, which are facing similar eviction orders, came to express their solidarity and support in the fight.
During the march, neighborhood resident Osnat Hamias collapsed and was evacuated by ambulance for treatment. Hamias and her family of nine, including three young children, are expected to be evacuated this week. They have lived with packed boxes and in constant fear of eviction for the past three months.
The demonstrators marched to the city’s Arlozorov homeless encampment and then continued to the nearby Bavli neighborhood and the prestigious “Bavli Park” project constructed by Yitzhak Tshuva, adjacent to Givat Amal in the north of the city.
As part of the neighborhood evacuation plan for the construction of luxury towers, about 130 families who were settled in the neighborhood in the 1950s by the young state, are expected to lose their homes.