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Israeli forces hand out another eviction order; claim Qalqiliya-area town as Jewish property

16th March 2009 | Ma’an News Agency

Qalqiliya – Ma’an – The home of 80-year-old Hajj Abdul Mu’ti Salah in Kafr Jammal is on Jewish land, the elderly West Banker was told Sunday, and he must evacuate the property immediately.

Since the beginning of March Israeli forces were seen in the 2,000-year-old village northwest of Qalqiliya, filming, plotting maps, and making detailed notes.

On Sunday, Israeli forces handed a warrant to Salah telling him to evacuate his home claiming it is a Jewish property. The home is known as the “Abu Khilaf home,” Salah grew up in the home, inherited it from his father, and raised his own children there.

“We never heard from our ancestors anything about what the Israeli authorities are claiming now,” local resident Hazim Abd As-Salam said. “The village has been an Arab-Palestinian village since the beginnings of history. The area they claim to be Jewish property is an archeological site dating back to more than two thousand years, It’s full of Roman and Byzantine artifacts, and there is no single clue to support what they claim.”

The house, added Abd As-Salam, “is next to an ancient mosque,” that his parents’ parents’ grandparents prayed in, “The whole village belongs to the Arab and Islamic civilization,” he added.

The eviction and confiscation order came the same day Israeli forces re-occupied the Ar-Rajabi home in Hebron. The home had been claimed using illegal sale documents and occupied by ultra-orthodox Israeli settlers. The settlers were ordered out of the home by the Israeli high court, and when the reused to leave they were forcibly evicted on 4 December. During the incident settlers from the nearby Kiriyat Arba settlement rioted and shot a Palestinian bystander at point blank range.

Israeli soldiers, not settlers this time, occupied the home and claimed as a military base.

Also on 15 March the eviction orders on two homes in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, took effect. A mass eviction and demolition order also stands on 88 Palestinian homes in Silwan, another neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

In early February an Israeli military tribunal issued a decision rejecting eight separate petitions, each representing dozens of Palestinians, objecting to a 2004 declaration by the Israeli Civil Administration to designate some 1,700 dunums (1.7 square kilometers) of land north of the West Bank settlemtn Efrat as “state land.”

In Kafr Jammal, Salah is so sick that he can’t speak and his wife feels powerless to stop the eviction and confiscation of her home.

In an effort to stymie the confiscation, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called the residents of the village through the loudspeakers of the ancient mosque near the Salah home, to do their best to prevent the Israeli plans to displace them from their homes.

The PFLP also released a statement appealing to all Palestinian institutions at official and popular levels to counter the Israeli plans.