Stealing land is wrong no matter who does it or for what reason.
Isn’t that basic morality 101 which is observed in all civilized countries? All Christians hold sacred the seventh commandment: Thou shalt not steal. Is this not also written in the Torah and the Koran? All civilized countries are served by a legal system that have laws that protect the right of ownership to land. When condemnation by the State occurs, owners have rights to compensation
However this morality is not observed in Israel for people who are not Jewish – Christian and Muslim alike. This process began in 1947 and is still going on today and will tomorrow.
Land is being stolen from Palestinian families every day – by condemnation and/or confiscation or by settler invasion or by military conscription (for security reasons of course). Land taken from Palestinians is then transferred through a convoluted series of steps into the National Jewish Trust to be redistributed to Jewish organizations or individuals.
To follow here will be a series of stories to bring real faces to the reality of land being stolen every day:
From Ma’an News Agency
Mousa Muhammad Ahmad Ouda’s new name is “Number 59.”
Ouda’s house is marked 59 of a total of 88 houses in one East Jerusalem
neighborhood that are slated for demolition by the Israeli-controlled
Municipality of Jerusalem. The Municipality says it plans to turn the area
into a park.
The houses are marked in red on an official map drawn up by the Israeli
authorities. On the satellite map the neighborhood, Bustan, is a sliver
marked with a thick red boundary, an outline oddly similar to the outline of
The Municipality says the houses were built without construction permits,
but the residents say that the demolition orders are a calculated attempt to
remove them from the land their families have inhabited for centuries.
“This house is more important to me than the Al-Aqsa Mosque. If I lose this
house, I lose everything,” Ouda said during an interview in his one-story
home, which lies a few hundred meters from the iconic mosque itself.
Residents say that the demolition orders threaten the homes of 1,500 people just in the Bustan area, an enclave in the Silwan neighborhood, a
densely-packed Palestinian area tucked in a valley adjacent to Jerusalem’s
The status of the houses has, in one sense, been in question since Israel
seized East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967. Unlike the rest of the occupied
West Bank, Israel annexed Jerusalem, declaring the city, east and west, its
“eternal undivided capital.” Palestinians
Through urban planning Israel has sought to limit the Palestinian presence
in the city while maximizing the Jewish population. According to locals,
Israel began demolishing houses in the area in1985.
The specter of mass demolitions was raised again in February, when the
Municipality and the Israeli ministry of the interior rejected a community
proposal to rezone the area for residential use. On 22 February, a team of
Israeli surveyors visited the area, a move the residents suspect was a
prelude to the destruction of homes.
“They call me number 59,” said Ouda, a round, bearded man, with bright eyes and a soft voice. “They used to number the Jews, and now look at the
situation we’re in,” he said….
As proof of his family’s claim to his land, he produces a yellowed paper, a
Jordanian government document from 1950, signed by his grandfather. Three stamps – grey, blue, and red – are affixed to the paper, and on top of
those, his grandfather’s thumb print in blue ink. The document states that
the Ouda family owns the plot, and nams the owners of the adjacent plots,
north, south, east, and west….
Ethnic cleansing, one home at a time
Marcy Newman writing from occupied East Jerusalem, Live from Palestine
In the Sadiyya neighborhood inside the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City is the Jaber family home. There, three members of the Jaber family, as well as the Karaki family, have lived with their parents, and later spouses and children, since the 1930s. Like most homes inside the Old City, the residential space has an open center that is shared by those living inside.
Six years ago Israeli police came to the house and told Nasser Jaber that his house no longer belonged to his family, but rather to Israeli colonists from the right-wing Messianic settler organization Ateret Cohanim whose racist ideology is closely aligned with Kach, a political party that advocates the expulsion of Palestinians. But when the Israeli colonial court sent its police to investigate, the court decided that the home indeed belonged to the Jaber family. The scenario was repeated the following year, in 2004, when the judge came to investigate who the house belonged to.