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Fayyad calls for end to land expropriation

Ali Waked | Ynet News

8 May 2009

Palestinian prime minister attends Friday prayer in east Jerusalem, promises residents to thwart Netanyahu government’s plan to confiscate property in Abu Dis area.

Battle over east Jerusalem lands heating up: Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Friday took part in a prayer held on disputed lands in the Abu Dis area, where protest tents have been set up following the Israeli demand to expropriate lands.

Fayyad participated in the prayer held by Kadi Taysir Tamami, head of the Palestinian Authority’s Sharia courts, near Area E1, which is the focus of a dispute between the Palestinians and Israel, which seeks to build the community of Keidar and connect between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim. Hundreds of Jerusalem residents attended the prayer.

The Palestinian prime minister stated that “the PA will not agree to all the Israeli plans”, and promised that they would not succeed.

Talking to Ynet, Fayyad’s advisor for Jerusalem affairs, Khatem Abdel Kader, said that the prime minister’s arrival at the area served as a message to Israel that the PA would fight the expropriation plans.

“This is also a message to the international community, that it must work to implement the principle that these are Palestinian lands which will be an inseparable part of the Palestinian state,” Abdel Kader added.

“And it is also a message to the Palestinian people, that the PA will not abandon them in the face of the plans that (Interior Minister) Eli Yishai and his friends are working to implement.”

Apart from the area near the community of Abu Dis, PA officials have also expressed their fear this week that Israel plans to confiscate dozens of acres including dozens of buildings with some 1,000 residents near the neighborhood of al-Bustan, next to Silwan, as part of what they referred to as “an extensive expropriation campaign”.