A-G cancels gov´t decision to expropriate lands in J´lem (JERUSALEM POST) By DAN IZENBERG 02/01/05)
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Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz decided on Tuesday to cancel the
government´s secret decision to apply the Absentee Property Law to
lands and buildings in Jerusalem owned by Palestinians living outside
the post-Six Day War boundaries of Jerusalem.
On Monday, Mazuz said he neither knew about nor agreed to the
government´s decision. He told the Association for Civil Rights in
Israel that the matter was under urgent examination.
ACRI wrote a letter to Mazuz over the weekend, charging that the
decision to seize the property of Palestinians whose identities were
known and who had been cultivating their agricultural lands inside
the city limits or renting out their buildings without hindrance for
more than 35 years, was a severe human rights violation.
In July, the cabinet decided to implement the Absentee Property Law
by seizing property belonging to Palestinians living outside the
expanded municipal boundaries of the city and handing it over to the
Custodian of Absentee Properties.
The secret decision reportedly allows the custodian to transfer, sell
or lease "abandoned" real estate property in east Jerusalem to the
Development Authority. According to the law, the government is not
obliged to compensate the property owners for the seizure.
A spokesman for the Yahad Party told The Jerusalem Post last week
that the US was disturbed by the report of the cabinet decision,
which was first reported by the daily Ha´aretz, and has intervened
with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on the matter.
The Prime Minister´s Office has refused to give out any information
on the decision or subsequent government actions in east Jerusalem.
(© 1995-2005, The Jerusalem Post 02/01/05)
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