Settler Fraud in Theft of Palestinian Land as Israel Prepares to 'Evict the Dead'
May 29, 2014
Chaim Levinson / Ha'aretz & RT News
An investigation has revealed that Al-Watan, a subsidiary of settlement organization Amana run by Ze'ev Hever, filed forged documents attesting to a legal purchase of Palestinian land, the site of the Amona outpost. The Amona outpost was built completely on private Palestinian land. Israel is trying out a new sort of "flexible evictions" in its quest to root out the "illegal" Bedouin village of Al-Araqib, demolished 63 times to date. Now even those buried in the village cemetery are reportedly receiving "eviction orders."
Israel's Destruction of
The Bedouin Village Al-Arakib
Video by Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana.
(August 10, 2010) -- The Israeli Police demolished the Arab Bedouin village of Al-Arakib for the third time in two weeks to clear space for a Jewish National Fund forest.
And for the third time, the residents of Al-Arakib rebuilt their destroyed homes alongside Jewish Israeli activists. Al-Arakib is a village in the Negev desert that was born decades before the foundation of Israel. Its residents are Israeli citizens.
Amana Settler Organization Accused of
Widespread Forgery of Ownership Documents
Chaim Levinson / Haaretz
OCCUPIED PALESTINE (May 26, 2014) -- A police investigation has revealed that Al-Watan, a subsidiary of settlement organization Amana run by Ze'ev (Zambish) Hever, filed forged documents attesting to a legal purchase of Palestinian land, the site of the Amona outpost.
The Amona outpost was built completely on private Palestinian land, and is currently home to some 40 families. In 2008, the landowners, along with the Yesh Din organization and attorneys Michael Sfard and Shlomi Zacharia, filed a petition requesting to demolish the entire outpost. The government responded to the petition, stating that the outpost would be demolished before the end of 2012, and later postponed demolition to June 2013.
Al-Watan is a registered organization in the West Bank, a subsidiary of the Amana movement. The organization's goal is to purchase land from Palestinians in areas over which there is a dispute within the Supreme Court. A few days before Amona was scheduled to be demolished, Al-Watan officials claimed that they had purchased portions of the land there.
In response to Al-Watan's claims, the government changed its position on Amona, and instead of demolishing it, divided the land there into three categories: private land whose owners have asked the courts to evacuate, private land whose owners haven't asked the courts to evacuate despite the illegal land theft, and the lands purchased by Al-Watan. The lands belonging to this last category would be frozen until the end of legal proceedings in the Magistrate's Court.
Last summer, the road leading to the outpost as well as one structure were cleared off of private Palestinian land. As for the entire outpost, Supreme Court President Asher Grunis has been putting off making a final decision.
Last Thursday, the state prosecutor reported to Yesh Din that according to the Israel Police forensics unit, the documents regarding one plot of land in Amona were forged. It is unclear which plot, specifically. In addition, the owners of two plots filed suit in the Jerusalem District Court over the forgery. The government has stated that it is considering its next moves regarding the forged documents.
This case is the latest in a series of forgeries. Ten days ago, it was determined that an Al-Watan document regarding the Migron outpost was forged. The forensics unit also reported to the Supreme Court last week that a document pertaining to a sale of land in Givat Assaf was also forged. The government has not been clear on what it intends to do with this information.
Haaretz reported last week that Al-Watan systematically produces and submits forged documents meant to obstruct Supreme Court proceedings. Evidence was found that "last-minute" deals for land in the Ulpana neighborhood, Givat Assaf and twice in Migron involved forged documents. Supreme Court justices, however, are holding up their decisions and postponing planned demolitions of the outposts.
Sfard and Zacharia stated in response that "the story of Amona involves a great crime, perpetrated by a small company of criminals, and this forgery is just the latest in a long history of similar criminal acts. Time after time, it turns out that the settlers' claims of purchase, which always happen at the last minute, are based on forged documents.
Despite this, the government allows these claims to hold up enforcing the law, and prevent the evacuation of illegal structures built on private land. The Amona outpost is built entirely on private Palestinian land, and we hope and believe that it soon will be completely evacuated and returned to its rightful owners."
Israel to 'Evict the Dead' in Bedouin Village
Demolished over 60 Times
(May 26, 2014) -- Israel is trying out a new sort of "flexible evictions" in its quest to root out the "illegal" Bedouin village of Al-Araqib, demolished 63 times to date. Now even those buried in the village cemetery are reportedly receiving eviction orders.
The Arab Bedouin village, located in the arid Negev desert but still troubling the Israeli authorities ever since the first full-scale demolition in 2010, is dealing with its latest challenge: eviction orders for the deceased, rights activist Michal Rotem writes on +972 independent blog.
According to Rotem, who is a member of the joint Arab-Jewish group Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF), eight eviction orders were placed on structures in the cemetery at Al-Araqib last Wednesday.
While receiving eviction orders is nothing new for the Bedouins, who for years have been defiantly rebuilding the unrecognized village, this time the recipients' names could have sent chills down some spines. The orders were partly issued against those no longer living in the village -- and buried in the cemetery, where the Israelis placed eviction notes.
After demolishing Bedouin village
Al Arakib 63 times, Israel places
eviction orders on graves of its dead:
May 26, 2014
According to the NCF, the cemetery, along with several homes and a small improvised mosque, has so far been left untouched by the Israeli authorities. However, it soon might change as "flexible" evictions are to take place between June 12 and July 12, 2014. Hinting at what the author called "a new and disturbing development, with far-reaching implications beyond the confines of Al-Araqib itself" is the fact that the authorities have for some reasons photographed the buildings at the cemetery "for the first time."
In response to the latest eviction orders, Al-Araqib's Sheikh Sayah Al-Turi said in a statement, quoted by the NCF:
"To all the Jews who believe in equality and that it is possible for Arabs and Jews to live together, mobilize in support of truth and justice and stand up for every Bedouin home."
"The state tells the Bedouin: you don't have a place in the Negev or in Israel. This is a great loss for the Bedouin and a great loss for the Jews. As long as there is no recognition of Bedouin rights to their lands, there will be no peace in the region, no equality and no justice."
The farcical situation is only the latest move of the Israeli government in what the rights activists have blasted as "discrimination" and "ethnic cleansing" of the 40,000-strong Bedouin population in the occupied Palestinian lands. Israel has also been dumping city waste right next to some of the Bedouin settlements in the desert, prompting health concerns from environmental experts.
The villagers earlier addressed the Guinness Book of World Records to register the ruinous "record" of Israel when the demolition count reached 38.
Locals told Ma'an news agency, that the recent developments were "very dangerous."
"Israel has declared war against us from all directions," a local council head Labbad Abu Affash told the agency. "Where do they plan to evacuate us? To the moon?"
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