Monday, June 10, 2013

West Bankers' Jerusalem Property

Israel's government is moving to bury chances for a Palestinian Jerusalem more and more deeply:
Last week the government threw its weight behind a controversial property law that could enable the state to seize up to 40 percent of the Palestinian private property in Jerusalem. And in recent weeks, authorities have revived a policy of demolishing Palestinian homes built without permits, ending an unofficial moratorium on home demolitions in response to US criticism. Palestinians argue that restrictive planning policies make it virtually impossible to get the required permits...
''The legal position is indeed that properties in East Jerusalem whose owners are residents of Judea and Samaria are absentee properties,'' Mr. Weinstein wrote the court, using Israel's names for the West Bank.
This means that West Bank Palestinian residents can lose their property in East Jerusalem because they are designated ''absentees'' – even though they never sold their property and it was Israel that had expanded its borders to include their land in the 1967 annexation of East Jerusalem rejected as illegal by the international community.
The last paragraph almost mentions something too often buried in discussions of Jerusalem: lots of its Arab neighborhoods are only part of the city because the Israeli government decided to expand the city's boundaries at the same time it was annexing the eastern portion after 1967's Six Day War.

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