JERUSALEM — The Israeli Supreme Court delayed on Sunday a decision on whether to expel six Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem after the attorney general requested more time, in part because of the tensions the case has stirred.
The court was to decide on Monday whether to uphold an expulsion order for the families in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, in a hearing that many feared would set off a wave of unrest. Instead, the case was delayed by up to 30 days to allow the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, to review it.
For many Palestinians, the families’ plight has become emblematic of a wider effort to remove Palestinians from parts of East Jerusalem and of the past displacements of Arabs in the occupied territories and within Israel.
Since the start of the month, the prospect of the evictions has prompted daily protests, arrests and confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli police and Jewish extremists.
Tensions reached a peak at the Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem on Friday night, where police officers threw stun grenades and fired rubber-coated bullets as worshipers attempted to pray, and worshipers threw bottles and stones. Some of the stun grenades landed in the mosque.
The Israeli government has argued that the Sheikh Jarrah case was a private real-estate dispute between the Palestinian families and a secretive Jewish settler group. Two decades ago, the settler group bought the land on which the Palestinians’ homes were built in the 1950s.
But the attorney general’s intervention signaled that the case had become a political and diplomatic liability for Israel —
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