A group of West Bank arabs are upset over the use of some of their land for an Israeli civilian settlement.
A group of West Bank arabs are upset over the use of some of their land for an Israeli civilian settlement. Their land has been taken for military purposes, and they have sought a legal decision of why they cannot have their land back now that some of it is being used for housing.
SYNOPSIS: The high court in Jerusalem heard a petition from the 12 moukhtars from the El Bire area. Advocate Elias Khoury of East Jerusalem represented them.
The land at issue is behind this barbed wire at the Beth El military camp. The settlers went of live there about a year ago, and have recently shifted from their barracks accommodation, to new houses built nearby. Now, the court has ruled that further construction work must stop.
Settlements such as this are a major issue in the quest for an agreed peace. Locally, they raise questions of land tenure for their former arab owners. The court decided the families can move into their new homes, but new work should cease which an explanations is sought from the military authorities.