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Friday, March 12, 2010

Europeans funding Arab land grabs in Gush Etzion area

Jewish activists in the Gush Etzion area claim that European-funded initiatives are allowing 'Palestinians' to lay claim to state land through what sounds a bit like a method called adverse possession. The 'Palestinians' plant olive trees on the land and then after seven years they are able to claim it on their own (think about that the next time you hear stories about 'interference' with the 'Palestinians' olive harvest).
Yehudit Katzover of the Committee for Jewish Shdema told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew newsmagazine this week that her group has been working against the trend for the past five years.

“You can see it everywhere in Judea and Samaria... you can see it along the entire length of the road along Highway 60, especially in the area between [the Jewish communities of] Alon Shvut and Elazar," Katzover said. "There are no private plots of land there at all, but they continue to plant trees there, in order to close around us.”

“We must wake up,” Katzover declared. "We want to catch the hilltops before the Palestinians do. We have appealed to all the authorities with any relevance to the problem, but they have to operate in accordance with the law – and as you know, the wheels of the law turn slowly.”

Katzover claims the Arabs are planting olive trees, and then, after seven years, claim ownership. “That is how they work,” she said. “The Defense Minister is really closing his eyes. When we tried to build houses [in these areas], they destroyed them eight times. When we tried to plant trees, we received orders to cease and desist. To the Arabs, no orders are given – only to Jews. Therefore we call upon everyone to come and join us in the fight to take these hills,” she said.

The Gush Etzion activists note that there is a catch to their struggle, in that if they do nothing in response to Arab plantings, the Arabs take over, while if they (the Jews) initiate a planting of their own, the army comes and throws them off, essentially reserving the land for Arabs.
Given that the Defense Minister already tried and failed to give half the country to Yasser Arafat in 2000, this is not at all surprising. And unfortunately, it's typical of the double standard in Judea and Samaria where Jewish building is frozen so as not to 'predetermine the outcome of negotiations' while 'Palestinian' building continues unabated.

What could go wrong?


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