The Israeli Cabinet has abolished a 12-year-old law forbidding Israeli citizens to buy land in the occupied West Bank of Jordan and Gaza Strip.
The Israeli Cabinet has abolished a 12-year-old law forbidding Israeli citizens to buy land in the occupied West Bank of Jordan and Gaza Strip. At the same time, Israeli settlers moved into disputed land at Maale Adumim B, just nine miles (15 kilometres) east Jerusalem.
SYNOPSIS: The Israeli settlers moved in on Saturday (15 September). They brought their cars, their household possessions and building materials. By Sunday morning, they had built their houses, and this patch of bare land had become the village of Maale Adumim B.
Unpacking was their first task, followed by installation of gas and other basic facilities. Nineteen families moved in, all from the nationalist Gush Emunim movement. But as the Israelis settled in, local Arab landowners made bitter protests. They claimed the land had been seized illegally and that since it was inside the boundaries of a nearby Arab village it should be returned to the Arabs.
At Jerusalem's High Court on Sunday (6 September) the Arabs presented their case. Their lawyer was Felicia Langer, who claimed initial Israeli government at maale Adumim B had been illegal. The court did not agree, but attorney Langer said she would fight the decision.
Meanwhile, at the Knesset, the Israeli Cabinet was debating the whole issue of land purchase in the occupied West Bank. Deputy Prime Minister Yigael Yadin was reported to have put forward a motion opposing new Israeli settlements on occupied land. However, his motion was defeated, and afterwards, government spokesman Arieh Naor explained the Israeli policy: