Elias Khoury (lawyer)

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For the Lebanese writer, see Elias Khoury.

Elias Daoud Khoury (Arabic: الياس داؤد خوري‎, Hebrew: אליאס ח'ורי‎) is a Jerusalem-based Palestinian Christian lawyer.[1] He specializes in real property law. Elias made appeals several times to the Supreme Court of Israel, and has had Palestinian politicians among his clients in Israeli courts.[2][3] Elias gained fame in the 1970s when he led a legal battle against the Israeli settlers of Sebastia and Elon Moreh.

Elias Khoury was born in the Galilee. His father lost the family land to Israel in the 1948 war (the 1948 Palestinian exodus), took citizenship in Israel and believed he could work patiently through Israeli law to get his land back.[4] Elias studied law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and lived in the Beit Hanina and Shuafat neighborhoods of Jerusalem.[1] He has a practice in Jerusalem, formerly in its Eastern part and now in the West, specializing in real property law. He has represented clients at all Israeli court levels, including the Supreme Court of Israel, as well as in planning commissions. In the framework of his public activities, he has expressed concerns with the impacts of the lack of Arab participation in the urban politics of Jerusalem, while expressing understanding for the rationale. In 2008 he expressed concerns with a planned real estate deal between his own Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and the State of Israel.[5]

Both Khoury's father and son were killed in attacks. Khoury's father, Daoud Khoury, was killed when a booby-trapped refrigerator exploded in Zion Square. Elias' son, George Khoury, was mistakenly killed from gunfire on March 19, 2004, while jogging in the neighborhood of French Hill in Jerusalem. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military branch of the Fatah movement, claimed responsibility. After it became clear that the victim was an Arab it apologized, and offered to declare him a martyr for the Palestinian cause[2][6] but it has also stated that the "barbaric act that will not change my world view, which includes deep faith in Palestinian rights."[7]

On March 6, 2010, The New York Times reported that Khoury had paid to have Amos Oz's A Tale of Love and Darkness translated into Arabic and distributed in Beirut and other Arab capitals.[8] Of his decision to pay for the translation and publication of the book, Khoury said: "This book tells the history of the rebirth of the Jewish people. We can learn from it how a people like the Jewish people emerged from the tragedy of the Holocaust and were able to reorganize themselves and build their country and become an independent people. If we can't learn from that, we will not be able to do anything for our independence."[8]


  1. ^ a b Regular, Arnon (26 April 2004). "אבי הנרצח: ההתנצלות לא מתקבלת" [Father of the Murdered: Apologies Will Not be Accepted]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved February 21, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center: "Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades Murder an Arab Student in Jerusalem"[dead link], Center for Special Studies (CSS) (last accessed Feb-21-08)
  3. ^ Weingarten, Gene url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/doc/409697630.html (August 22, 2004). "Fear Itself, Learning to live in the age of terrorism". The Washington Post. p. W.18. 
  4. ^ James Bennet (July 16, 2004). "Isolated and Angry, Gaza Battles Itself, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "למכירה בבירה: שכונת יוקרה במחיר מציאה" [For Rent in the Capital: Luxury Neighborhood at Bargain Price] (in Hebrew). [dead link]
  6. ^ Yamin-Wolvovitz, T; Ottamana, M (March 20, 2004). "Al Aqsa Brigades kill Israeli Arab they thought was Jewish". Independent Media Review Analysis. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  7. ^ David Remnick (November 8, 2004). "The Spirit Level: Amos Oz writes the story of Israel". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Ethan Bronner (March 6, 2010). "Palestinian Sees Lesson Translating an Israeli's Work". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 November 2014.