The families had turned to the High Court after two lower courts upheld ownership claims by the Nahalat Shimon Company to the property on which their homes are built. Nahalat Shimon wants to develop the land for Jewish housing. It is located next to the tomb of Second Temple-era priest Shimon HaTzadik, also known as Simeon the Just.
The families are part of a group of 28 which originally fled their homes during the 1948 War of Independence and entered east Jerusalem, which was in Jordanian hands after the war. Jordan gave them housing in Sheikh Jarrah, on land owned by Jews; in exchange, they gave up their refugee status.
They are barred by Israeli law from reclaiming their homes in places like west Jerusalem, Jaffa and Haifa. The Sheikh Jarrah land was originally owned by two Jewish organizations, but it has now passed into the hands of Nahalat Shimon.