Ethnically Cleansing East Jerusalem - by Stephen Lendman
Jerusalem is the epicenter of a decades long struggle. For Jews, it's politically important as their capital, a national and religious center, as well as symbolic of Judaism's revival and prominence. For Christians, it's where Jesus lived and died, and for Muslims, it's their third holiest site (the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque) after Mecca's Sacred Mosque and the Mosque of the Prophet in Madina.
In June 1967, Israel occupied the city. On July 30, 1980, the Knesset introduced the Jerusalem Law, officially annexing it as Israel's unified capital. However, on March 1, 1980, UN Security Council Resolution 465 declared that:
"all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant (Fourth Geneva) violation....and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."
On July 4, 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICC) ruled that "Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development (and) have been established in breach of international law."
However, nothing thereafter changed. Settlements expanded exponentially, including on stolen East Jerusalem land. Israel plans to Judaize it by replacing Arabs with Jews, law or no law, because unenforced ones are meaningless.
On November 7, Haaretz writer Nir Hasson headlined, "Full Haaretz expose/How the state helped right-wing groups settle East Jerusalem," saying:
Israel "used a controversial law to transfer East Jerusalem assets to the rightist organizations Elad and Ateret Cohanim without a tender, and at very low prices."
To date, Elad settled 500 Jews in 15 Silwan sites. Ateret Cohanim brought 60 Jewish families and hundreds of yeshiva students to the Old City's Muslim Quarter, an area they're determined to control.
In support, Israel transferred hundreds of assets to them, as well as millions of shekels for security, including surveillance cameras and fences that separate settlers from Palestinians. Authorities also licensed Elad to manage the historic City of David tourist site.
In 1992, the Knesset passed a law requiring all state agencies to hold public tenders on which any citizen may bid, with certain defined exemptions, including expanding agricultural areas and promoting tourism. However, Elad and Ateret Cohahim were "exempted from tender" for all 11 assets they got, authorities abusing the 1950 Absentee Property Law to do it.
It pertains to persons "who, at any time during the period between (November 29, 1947) and (May 19, 1948) ceased to exist," and no longer owned Israeli property legally. However, at least for some of the 11 seized assets, owners live in the West Bank, "which is not under the jurisdiction of Israeli law."
Attorney Shlomo Lecker, involved in one of the cases, said: "These are not people who moved to an enemy country. Instead, these are cases in which we've decided to annex property without annexing the people who left it. Thus, two attorneys general recommended that this law not be applied to East Jerusalem."
Haaretz's full expose can be accessed through the following link:
Ethnically Cleaning Silwan