An Israeli peace group has obtained copies of a brochure that right-wing Israeli settlers are spreading to try to populate an area of the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem with Jewish settlers.The brochure claims to have obtained six properties in the Old City which could house 22 Jewish families. This would bring the number of Jews living in the Old City of Jerusalem up to 1,000.
It’s unclear from the brochure how the properties were obtained, but often Palestinian properties in Jerusalem have been subjected to the “absentee property law”, whereby Palestinians who have been forced out of Jerusalem or who have left for a period of time for school or work lose their right to their property, which is then sold to Jewish organizations to rent to Jewish families.
Many Palestinians have filed complaints and lawsuits against this arbitrary seizure of property for which they hold title, but Israeli courts have upheld the seizure of the property. Although illegal under international law, the practice is permitted under Israeli law.
In this instance, the properties in question are in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, which is an area where Palestinians who used to live in other parts of the Old City have been forced to crowd into ever-smaller sections of the ancient city.