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September 04, 2012

In LA Times, Half the Story on Half a House

The disputed property in Ras el-Amud (Photo by Melanie Lidman/Jerusalem Post)

In a blog post about a disputed property in Jerusalem, the Los Angeles Times' Maher Abukhater reports selectively. Writing about the eviction of members of the Hamdallah family from one room of their house in Ras el-Amud, a neighborhood in Jerusalem, Abukhater writes in the first paragraph: "The family must turn the house over to its new owners, Israeli settlers." He continues:

After dozens of court hearings and back-and-forth lawsuits and appeals, an Israeli court decided in 2005 that Moskowitz was the legal owner of the plot located in the heart of the Arab neighborhood. . ..

Khaled Hamdallah said his family has lived on that land since 1952, long before Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967.

If the court had ruled that Moskowitz was the legal owner, then why does Abukhater refer to the Hamdallahs as owners? And while the reporter (rightly) mentions that the Hamdallah family has lived there since 1952, which he may believe is relevant to the question of ownership, he does not mention the property's prior history. As Ynet reported:

The land was purchased by the Chabad and Wohlin Hasidic yeshivas during the Ottoman period but they lost control of the area in 1948.

The land was taken over by a man who was registered as the owner in the Jordanian Land Registry Bureau and in 1952 it was given over to the Hamdallah family. Over time additional buildings were constructed on the land and connected to one main structure.

In 1967 the yeshivas discovered what happened and filed a claim with the district court, which voided the land registration. In 1990 Moskowitz purchased the land and in 1995 filed a petition for the eviction of the Hamdallah family.

Posted by TS at September 4, 2012 08:16 AM


Well done! Thank you!

Keep up the great work Camera!

Posted by: √Čl-Ad at September 6, 2012 11:20 AM

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