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Yosef Ezra: I'll Give Up My Israeli Citizenship Over Hevron Land

Yosef Ezra said he would give up his Israeli citizenship – because the state will not give him the land he owns in Hevron.
By David Lev
First Publish: 11/28/2009, 10:45 PM / Last Update: 11/28/2009, 11:58 PM

Israel News Photo: Archive


Even if the state does not return my property, I demand at the very least they allow the Jewish families living there now to remain. If they do not return the property, they must consider the wishes of the owner as to how it is used.
Yosef Ezra, the last Jew to leave Hevron before the city fell to the Jordanians in the 1948 War of Liberation, said he will be giving up his Israeli citizenship – in protest over the state's continued refusal to recognize that he and his family are the owners of land and property in the city.

Ezra's family was the only one that remained in Hevron after the massacres of 1929, and he was four years old when his family was forced to leave the city on November 28, 1947 – one day before the UN partition plan was to take effect. The family never forgot Hevron, though – and it still has the documents that attest to its ownership of homes and fields in the city. Jewish families live in some of the homes, but others are occupied by Arabs – who have refused to vacate them.

Ezra has demanded that the state enforce his ownership rights, but to no avail; despite a host of court decisions in his favor, the government has refused to return the property to him. Ezra has also appealed to civil rights groups, which have also ignored his pleas for help. Ezra has filed a statement in a petition by Peace Now to the High Court demanding that Jews who are living in buildings owned by Ezra be forced to vacate.

"Even if the state does not return my property, I demand at the very least they allow the Jewish families living there now to remain. If they do not return the property, they must consider the wishes of the owner as to how it is used. That would be the minimum the state would be obligated to do, and internal documents produced by the government confirm this," Ezra said, speaking to Arutz 7.

"I plan to give up my Israeli citizenship because of the refusal of the authorities to return my stolen property to me, despite court decisions in my favor. After I do so, I will call a press conference and reveal everything that led up to it, both on the Jewish and Muslim side – thus showing everyone exactly who we are dealing with," Ezra added.