Quietly and without fanfare, Israel has seized tracts of land owned in Jerusalem from their Palestinian owners. The owners and land in question was
cut off due to the construction of the separation barrier. The government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is using a long dormant law that allows
Israel to seize lands of Palestinians who fled or were driven out during the 1948-49 Mideast war that followed Israel's creation.
JERUSALEM - Israel has quietly seized large tracts of Jerusalem land owned by Palestinian residents of the West Bank after they were cut off from
their property by Israel's separation barrier, lawyers of the landowners said.
The land was taken after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government decided several months ago to enforce a long-dormant law that allows Israel to
seize lands of Palestinians who fled or were driven out during the 1948-49 Mideast war that followed Israel's creation.
The new policy, first reported in the Israeli daily Haaretz, could affect hundreds of Palestinians who own property in Jerusalem and is sure to raise
the stakes in the stormy battle over the city, which Israel and the Palestinians both claim as their capital.
The landowners affected so far live in the West Bank towns of Bethlehem and Beit Jalla, just south of Jerusalem. Their land was taken in August, after
Israel's West Bank separation barrier cut them off from their land in the city.
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This is really a bit much and comes on the heels of recent comments that Israel was working to eliminate hardships caused by the barrier. Now they
are annexing off more land? This seems to be the way Israel promotes itself by and large. The olive branch in one hand and the striking sword in the
other. How can you talk peace when you are taking peoples land. *sigh* Abbas represents the best hope in some time, lets hope that both sides don't
screw things up.
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