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Thread: Israel Seizes Palestinian Land in Jerusalem Cut Off by Barrier

  1. #1
    ruthie's Avatar Poster
    Join Date
    May 2004
    the other chair
    When is this going to stop? The continuous land grabs by Israel is not only illegal, but creates worsening relations. How does sharon explain this? He doesn't comment...but his office confirms it. There needs to be a Palestinian State. I find this insane, and I'd like to see how other countries respond to this latest seizure. Personally, I find it reprehensible.

    Israel Seizes Palestinian Land in Jerusalem Cut Off by Barrier
    Associated Press
    Monday, January 24, 2005; Page A16

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 23 -- Israel has quietly seized large tracts of Jerusalem land owned by Palestinian residents of the West Bank after they were cut off from their property by Israel's separation barrier, attorneys for the landowners said.

    The land was taken after the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided several months ago to enforce a long-dormant law that allows Israel to seize lands of Palestinians who fled or were driven out during the 1948-49 war that followed the establishment of the Jewish state.

    The new policy, first reported in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, could affect hundreds of Palestinians who own property in Jerusalem and intensify the dispute over the city, which Israel and the Palestinians both claim as their capital.

    The affected landowners live in the West Bank towns of Bethlehem and Beit Jalla, just south of Jerusalem. Their land was taken in August, after the West Bank separation barrier cut them off from their land in the city.

    The land was transferred to the Custodian of Absentee Property, a body formed by a 1950 law that allowed the seizure of property of Palestinians who had left Israel during the war, according to documents from Israel's Finance and Justice ministries.

    Johnny Atik, a Bethlehem resident, said Sunday that he lost eight acres of olive groves within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries as a result of the new policy. The land is 100 yards from his home, which sits on the other side of an electronic fence and patrol road that are part of the separation barrier.

    Atik said land belonging to 40 families in his neighborhood had been taken.

    Hundreds of other Palestinians are now at risk of having land seized, according to Daniel Seidemann and Mohammed Dahla, attorneys representing several of the landowners.

    Atik said he planned to appeal to the Supreme Court.

    The Finance Ministry declined to discuss the policy, and a spokesman insisted he would only respond to written questions. The ministry's written response did not address how much land had been taken and whether landowners would be compensated.

    Israel's absentee land law was first used in the 1950s. At least 20,000 Arab homes in the western part of Jerusalem were taken under this law, said Moshe Amirav, a former member of the Jerusalem City Council.

    In the 1967 Middle East war, Israel captured the eastern half of Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, then expanded Jerusalem's municipal boundaries and annexed the area.

    Sharon's office declined to comment, except to confirm the government's decision that the Custodian of Absentee Property has the authority to "transfer, sell or lease" lands in East Jerusalem that belong to absentee owners.

    The Finance Ministry said the properties of the Bethlehem-area landowners were transferred to state custody after the 1967 war. Asked what the state would do with the land, the ministry said the question was "not relevant."

    Washington Post
    Don't read what isn't there.


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  3. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    Chewie's Avatar Chew E. Bakke
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    I find this maddening, as I did the 'fence' and other Israeli thefts.
    As disgusting as these acts are to me, I do not find them nearly as disturbing as the lack of opposition to them by the powerful Western governments.
    The USA would have particular trouble making anything louder than a discontented murmur due to both the size of its Jewish community and the influence it has at the higher levels of government. That is not to say that the USA is the worst culprit of inaction, merely that other nations' governments would not feel the sort of backlash that Hers would.
    Our own UK governments have similarly wimpered their discomfort at Israeli acts so I don't expect them to do the right thing this time either.
    Last edited by Chewie; 01-24-2005 at 03:12 PM.
    There isn't a bargepole long enough for me to work on [a Sony Viao] - clocker 2008


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