Etzion DCL

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Shlomit S. Ora A. Translation: Naomi Gal


Suddenly, 1200 hectares designated for Jewish construction appeared in the Bethlehem area

10:40 A 72-year-old man said he is living in his home in Isawia. His wife is Israeli and he has received a family reunification permit. Every now and then he goes to visit his parents, aged 96 and 93, in Abadia. Lately, he is not allowed to enter Israel even though under the regulations 55-year-olds are allowed to enter Israel without a permit. In recent weeks, we have encountered many such cases.

A man asked for our advice, he said that when he was a student he spent about a year in prison. 20 years have passed since then and he is still denied entry to Israel by GSS. A young man, who overheard his words, said that he too was GSS-prevented for 20 years due to Facebook exchanges. We gave them the usual advice.

We again came across the phenomenon that people pay 2,500 Shekels per month to get a work permit. The trouble is that even after the payment they are not provided with work permits. They have to work at least 10 days at least in order to cover the payment to the mediator for the permit. If they are lucky to get more than ten days' work, something would remain in their pockets. The state does not deal with the exploitational phenomenon of buying and selling permits.

On the bulletin board at the community center, there was an announcement that 1200 hectares in the Bethlehem area were declared “State Land”. These areas are designated in part to build a Jewish neighborhood, for which a tender has been issued and the Ministry of Housing will oversee the construction. The entire area is surrounded by Arab villages. Speaking to Hagit Ofran from Peace Now, it became clear that the matter has been debated in the courts for the last 15 years. Until now, those who opposed turning the area to state land lost, although they claim some of these lands are being cultivated. But the supporters of the coup argued in court that “The trees in the area are not crowded, hence the land cannot be considered cultivated.”

If the neighborhood would be built, we suggest it should be called: "Neve Tzedek".(Justice Abode)