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PHOTOS: Police evacuate families from working-class Tel Aviv neighborhood

After lengthy legal battle, six families of Givat Amal lose their homes.

Photos by: Shiraz Grinbaum, Keren Manor/Activestills.org, Text by Edo Konrad

Police evicted six families from the Givat Amal neighborhood in northern Tel Aviv Thursday morning, after they lost a lengthy court battle for their rights to the land. Residents and community activists gathered in the neighborhood in an attempt to trying to stop the eviction. The residents, who the state placed in the working-class neighborhood soon after its founding in the 1950s, have been leading a struggle to recognize their rights to the property, which were sold to an Israeli businessman in the 1970s.

Israeli police officers during the evacuation of the Givat Amal neighborhood in north Tel Aviv. (photo by Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

Israeli police officers during the evacuation of the Givat Amal neighborhood in north Tel Aviv. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

The land has since exchanged hands to another Israeli mogul, Yitzhak Tshuva, who is planning to turn the neighborhood, comprised of single-family homes and shacks sitting in the heart of one of Tel Aviv’s most expensive neighborhoods, into six high-rise towers.

Five of the families reached an agreement to evacuate, which offered compensation to the residents. One woman, Rivka Chilovsky, refused the agreement and is resisting the evacuation of her home.

Policemen hold down a protester during the evacuation of the Givat Amal neighborhood. Protesters chanted slogans and burned tires. (photo: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

Policemen hold down a protester during the evacuation of the Givat Amal neighborhood. Protesters chanted slogans and burned tires. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Rivka Chilovsky, resident of Givat Amal collapses after police officers enter to her house to connivence her to evacuate, Tel Aviv, March 27, 2014.

Rivka Chilovsky, resident of Givat Amal collapses after police officers enter to her house to convince her to evacuate, Tel Aviv, March 27, 2014. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) responded to the evacuation by stating that, “on the same day that he sealed a deal to sell off our natural gas, Tshuva is kicking out six families from their homes onto the street. The demands of the residents who were sent to the live in the area by the state in the 1950s are basic and fair.” According to Khenin, he has proposed legislation to ensure that the evacuated families receive alternative housing.

Sapir Slotzker, an activists after being pushed on the ground by Israeli border police, March 27, 2014. Sapir was later arrested by the police. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

Activist Sapir Slutzker is seen after being pushed on the ground by Israeli Border Police, March 27, 2014. Sapir was later arrested by the police. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Residents of Givat Amal argue with policemen. (photo: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

Residents of Givat Amal argue with policemen. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

An activists placing a sign reading "Here is my home, I was born here", in front of Rivka Chilovsky's house before its eviction, March 27, 2014. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

An activist holds a sign reading “Here is my home, I was born here,” in front of Rivka Chilovsky’s house before her eviction, March 27, 2014. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

Border police brake in Rivka Chilovsky's house during her eviction, March 27, 2014. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org

Border Police break into Rivka Chilovsky’s house during her eviction, March 27, 2014. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org

An activists being arrested during a raid of Israeli police and private security forces in Givat Amal neighbourhood,  Tel Aviv, March 27, 2014. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org

An activist is arrested during a raid of Israeli police and private security forces on the Givat Amal neighborhood, Tel Aviv, March 27, 2014. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org

Residents of Givat Amal in the doorway of their home. The neighborhood is slated for demolition. (photo: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

Residents of Givat Amal in the doorway of their home. The neighborhood is slated for demolition. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Related:
WATCH: Ramat Gan public housing residents thrown to the street
Social, environmental shortcomings cast shadow over Lapid’s housing plan
Despite promises, government falls short on housing goals
Gentrification leaves one Jaffa family caged in their own home

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    1. Philos

      Jewish Mizrachi, Ethiopian, Bedouin, Palestinian; the only just solution will be found in socialism.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Jan

      Money and power rule Israel today. Those without the money and the power are considered disposable.

      I guess that the Palestinians are not the only ones evicted from their homes. Poor Jews face the same fate in this once equalitarian state.

      Reply to Comment
      • Philos

        Israel was never truly an egalitarian society. The low Gini-coefficient of the 70s was a result of the economic expansion thanks to the occupation in 1967. It was illusory. And when entitlements finally became universal (I.e., available to Palestinian-Israelis (except in housing)) in the 90s the neoliberal assault was launched in tandem with the 2nd intifada and dotcom bubble bursting.

        The commanding heights of the Israeli economy have been largely concentrated in the same patrician families for generations now, just like in Venezuela, Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          You mean like Yitzhak Tshuva, born in Libya, whose land these squatters are sitting on? Wouldn’t he qualify as one of those poor “Mizrahim” that socialism would supposedly serve?

          Reply to Comment
    3. Kolumn9

      Oh thank god they are finally going to start building there. We need to build tens of thousands of apartments in order to deal with the apartment prices. This is one of many Tel Aviv neighborhoods that can be redeveloped to build 10-20x more apartments than what is there now.

      These people have been trying to extort the state and Tshuva for years now. They have no actual ownership over the land and they have been trying to cash in on their squatting for way too long. They have been offered compensation that is more than generous and they kept holding out for more. At some point this extortion has to be met by the rule of law, even if it produces some bad photos.

      Reply to Comment