Friday, April 27, 2007

Protestors rally in Jaffa against intentions to evict Arab families

Marchers say Israel Lands Authority trying to create a Jewish Jaffa, compare evictions to events of 1948

Ethnic Cleansing at Work

"Hundreds of Jaffa residents on Friday participated in a march to protest measures that the Israel Lands Authority and the Amidar housing company have taken in the past year to evict Arab families from Jaffa.

The Israel Lands Authority and Amidar claim the families invaded the properties and built on them illegally.

The march was organized by The Popular Committee to Defend the Land and the Right to Residency, which was established by the Arab residents of Jaffa several weeks ago.

According to the committee's leaders, the Authority and Amidar in the past year issued 500 eviction notices to Arab families from the Al Ajami and Givat Aliya neighborhoods, and some of the notices have evolved into eviction lawsuits.

The organizers of the march questioned why the Authority and Amidar have taken a sudden interest in the matter in the past year, when the families have been living in their homes for several decades. They say the families have held a status of protected tenants who pay rent.

The residents' representatives say the authority and Amidar are attempting to Judaize Jaffa while also making a profit from selling the properties, which are near the seafront, to an affluent Jewish population.

The protesters in the march shouted various slogans such as "Jews and Arabs against house demolitions" and "The transfer won?t happen."

According to the "This is a tsunami of evictions and demolitions," said Al Ajami neighborhood chairman, Camel Agbaria. "The struggle for a roof over one's head should be the ultimate struggle. Instead of firing bullets, they fire dollar bills here."......"

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