'Left pressured Arab to claim land ownership'

Journalist relates she met Arab landowner in Nativ Ha'avot, asked why he would not agree to compensation instead of expelling residents.

Mordechai Sones ,

Netiv Ha'avot expulsion
Netiv Ha'avot expulsion
Eliran Aharon

Journalist Moriah Kor this morning confronted former Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer over the expulsion of 15 families in Netiv Ha'avot and the expected destruction of their homes.

In the beginning Kor said she herself had been offered a home in the neighborhood, but the uncertainty about the place's future dissuaded her. She criticized settler leadership, who she said planted in residents the belief that "it'll be okay" and that the place would be neither evacuated nor destroyed.

Later in the interview she claimed the one leading petitions against the village were not Arab landowners -who are often unaware of their ownership - but leftist organizations.

She says she herself met the Arab landowner in Netiv Ha'avot and wondered why he would not agree to receive compensation for the land instead of evacuating the residents. Kor noted there was no doubt that even after the expulsion and destruction the Arab would not be able to make use of the land, while monetary compensation would have been an appropriate solution for him as well.

Kor said the Arab responded he would have preferred and would have been happy to receive financial compensation, but since leftist movements under the direction of attorney Michael Sfard had already begun the legal work "it was uncomfortable for him" to give up the expulsion process and make do with compensation.

According to Yariv Oppenheimer, the reason for the insistence on evacuation and destruction stems from Palestinian ideology that is unwilling to accept loss of land to another people. According to him, those promoting the moves are not leftists but the Palestinian residents themselves.