Land confiscations inside the 1948 territories

Mon, 28 Sep 1998

By Christine Prat

Hi Issam,

I hope that you are well. We just came back from a 5 weeks trip in Palestine. House demolitions, closures, arrests, clashes, murders of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers or settlers, human rights abuse by Palestinian police, corruption, etc... go on without hindrance.

For the time being, I shall limit myself to the almost forgotten case of the Palestinians who live inside the "Green Line". Palestinians from the 1967 territories tend to believe that the situation inside is much better than theirs, and international organizations and media are reluctant to interfere with what is happening in "Israel" and find it easier to concentrate on an occupation which is clearly illegal in international law.

However, the situation inside is degrading and there are clear reasons to believe that the Zionists will again try to decrease the non-jewish population inside the 1948 territories. Moreover, it is very important to closely follow what is happening there, as it clearly shows what "peace" with the Zionists means: granting them the time to organize for further confiscations and expulsions.

As you might have heard, the Israeli authorities transfered land which until now belonged to Arab municipalities in the North (Sakhnin, Arabe and a few others) to the Misgav settlements council.

Only the towns themselves, i.e. land with buildings on it, still resort under the authority of the Arab municipalities. This means that people cannot built any longer on their own land and that the Misgav council can expropriate them under all kinds of pretexts "of public interest" (read: interest of the Jews).

A friend of ours, from Sakhnin, who has never been allowed to built a house on a small piece of land belonging to his family, has put a caravan on it and lives in it with his (Dutch) wife and childrens. He has already received an order to evacuate but the matter will come before a court in february, which gives him some respite. However, his action is meant as a political protest. He needs financial, political and media support. The case must be publicized before the court takes a decision and the expulsion can take place discretely, without taking a political dimension (which would allow the authorities to treat the case of the hundreds of people whose land has been transferred as as many "individual" cases).

It is important to encourage the hundreds of potential victims to resist too. If you know people who can help or are interested, his name is Ali Zbidat:

Fax : 972 6 6745821 address: P.O.Box 4339 20173 Sakhnin (Israel)

Christine ***************************************************************************** Christine Prat, Fax : (+31 20) 623 65 22 POB 16545, 1001 RA Amsterdam

E-mail: Christine.Prat@let.uva.nl University of Amsterdam ***************************************************************************** >