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Private Palestinian land in Jerusalem slated for confiscation

May 28, 2015 11:06 A.M. (Updated: May 28, 2015 5:08 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) – Israeli authorities on Wednesday morning left posters in the occupied East Jerusalem town of al-Isawiya notifying owners that the property is needed for urgent military purposes for two and a half years.

The confiscation order comes amid increasing incidents of demolition of Palestinian homes throughout occupied East Jerusalem and transfer of property from Palestinian to Jewish Israeli ownership in the area.

A local committee member told Ma'an that Wednesday's orders were posted by officers of Israel's Civil Administration who classify the confiscation as "seizure for military purpose."

The land, measuring 8,200 square meters, is located in the eastern side of the neighborhood Al-Isawiya near an Israeli military base established 10 years ago, Hummus told Ma'an.

The order has been signed by head of the Israeli forces Central Command Nitzan Alon and the land will be used for military purposes until Dec. 31, 2017, according to the order.

High-profile Israeli military officers are expected to arrive Thursday morning to delineate the land slated for confiscation.

Hummus explained that seizure orders such as the one issued Wednesday "temporarily" reclassify private land for military purposes orders, however orders are automatically renewed and such properties are eventually confiscated from their owners.

The land slated for confiscation Wednesday houses a farm owned by heirs of Radi Ahmad Issa Abu Riyala. Riyala passed away four years ago and has been buried in the farm.

In the last two weeks, several buildings have been demolished in the nearby Silwan neighborhood including a large three-story building newly built for Palestinian residents.

Municipal inspectors ordered the building's demolition because the construction had been carried out without a permit from the municipal council.

In effort to gain and maintain a Jewish majority in the city, government policies make it near impossible for Palestinian residents to obtain building permits, while Jewish residents frequently take over Palestinian buildings with the protection of Israeli security, according to the Israeli rights organization the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

The majority of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's newly built right-wing coalition has vowed to expand settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank, with many opposing a future independent Palestinian state.

Wednesday's seizure order move comes shortly after the newly assembled government allocated $25 million for settlement expansion in Jerusalem last week.
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