Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

11 Mar, 2014

Palestinian hotel at heart of legal battle – Al Jazeera Blogs

The Ayyads’ fight for Cliff Hotel is existential, literally. Ali Ayyad and his siblings have been battling in Israeli courts for over a decade to reclaim the property that’s been in the family for generations.

Originally the family’s residence, the four-storey building overlooking occupied East Jerusalem was established in 1953. Turned into a hotel in 1961, it received visitors from around the world until it was closed for renovations in 1996.

A legal challenge ended a 10-day Israeli army take-over of the hotel in 1996 – but did not end the harassment, Ali who’s been managing the hotel, told Al Jazeera.

In 2003, when Israel started erecting the separation wall, the hotel was turned into a military base and confiscated. The argument used was that the property fell in Jerusalem and because the family lived in the West Bank they are absent, according to Israeli law, and since have no right to claim ownership.

“That’s when the legal circus kicked off,” Ali said.

Read the rest: Palestinian hotel at heart of legal battle – Al Jazeera Blogs.