'Let Jewish owners get their land back'

Jerusalem City Councilman Arieh King says that Jerusalem municipality refuses to act to return land to Jewish owners.

Eliran Aharon ,

Arieh King at Highway 21 construction in Beit Hanina
Arieh King at Highway 21 construction in Beit Hanina

Jerusalem City Council member Arieh King took Arutz Sheva on a tour of the neighborhood of Beit Hanina and other Jerusalem neighborhoods to see where Arabs are living on Jewish-owned land, following the Jerusalem municipality's statement that it would demolish illegal Arab construction if the town of Amona is destroyed.

King does not see a relationship between Amona and illegal Arab construction in Jerusalem. "Why are you connecting one to the other?" he wondered, referring to Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat's threats to demolish Arab illegal homes if Amona is destroyed.

King believes that there is greater justification for demolishing Arab buildings illegally constructed on Jewish-owned land in Jerusalem than there is to destroy Amona because it is much easier to determine ownership in Jerusalem, where the government and municipality have land registers, than it is in Amona, where land was given out by the King Hussein during Jordan's illegal occupation of Judea and Samaria and no specific person has come forward to claim it.

"In Amona there is the question: who is the owner, and what does the owner want? Here the owners are available, accessible. You can talk with them, and see what they want."

King showed Arutz Sheva several Arab structures which had been built on Jewish-owned land and which the courts had ordered demolished. The municipality has not acted on those demolition orders despite years having passed since they were issued. "Once the municipality issues a demolition order, there is no reason why the demolition is not happening."

According to King, this is part of the municipality's discrimination against Jews. He says that the building law is "being enforced just on Jews, and not on the Arabs or the Muslims."