Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a prominent Palestinian family could not claim ownership of a landmark and now derelict building in East Jerusalem.The Husseini family said the Shepherd Hotel, now partially demolished, is a symbol of the Palestinian rights to their land and to East Jerusalem, and strongly criticized the court ruling.

The Shepherd Hotel was built in the 1930s and served as the home of Jerusalem grand mufti Haj Amin Husseini.

It was declared ‘absentee property’ by Israel after it was captured and annexed to East Jerusalem in 1967. The title was transferred to an Israeli firm, which sold it in 1985 to Irving Moskowitz, a Florida businessman and patron of Jewish settlers.

The ‘absentee property’ law has been enforced by Israel since 1948 which allowed the Israeli authorities to confiscate land and property of Palestinians who were prohibited to return to their land and property after 1948.