The aforementioned lands, with an area of about 350 dunams (one thousand square meters), are owned by the Islamic Waqf, and are located between the Jewish cemetery and the Old City wall, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Adnan Al-Husseini, had referred to the confiscation and registration of about 350 dunums of Islamic Waqf lands.
Haaretz newspaper reported on Monday that the Israeli government has begun registering “land ownership contracts” for Jewish people near Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.
Last Thursday, Haaretz reported that the Ministry of Justice began the process of registering the ownership of land adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The mentioned lands, with an area of about 350 dunams (one thousand square meters), are owned by the Islamic Endowments, and are located between the Jewish cemetery and the Old City wall, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Haaretz reported that the Israeli authorities say that the process of registering the aforementioned plot of land, located south of the Temple Mount, comes with the aim of “narrowing economic disparities and improving the quality of life for Palestinians residing in Jerusalem.”
However, Haaretz added, “But in practice, it is used primarily to register land for Jews, while Palestinians in general are apprehensive about cooperating with this effort.”
Haaretz notes that the Jews will try to exploit the registration process to own land, while the Palestinians refuse to deal with the process, fearing that it will be exploited to confiscate their land.
“Mostly, the Palestinians in Jerusalem refused to cooperate, fearing that the (government) custodian of the absentees’ property would claim all or part of it,” Haaretz said.
She added, “Israeli law allows the Israeli Custodian of Absentees’ Property to confiscate property if it is registered to a person who resides or was residing in a hostile state.”
In 2018, the Israeli government decided to launch the registration process, but the Palestinians doubted that its goal was to confiscate more Palestinian lands in Jerusalem, on the grounds that they either did not have ownership papers, or that there were owners outside the city, and thus the Custodian of Absentees’ Property would confiscate them on the grounds that they were “absentees.”
“More than 90 percent of the land in East Jerusalem is still unregistered,” Haaretz said.
And Adnan al-Husseini, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, had warned earlier this month in a written statement, a copy of which was received by Anadolu Agency, that “the Israeli authorities are seeking to confiscate and register about 350 dunums of Islamic Waqf lands in Jerusalem, for the benefit of the graves of Jews.” .
And the Jewish cemetery, it was rented from the Islamic endowments, for decades.
Al-Husseini warned at the time that the measure comes “to confiscate more lands in order to impose the siege on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Holy City in general, to tighten control over the largest possible area, and to obliterate the Palestinian, Arab, Islamic and Christian identity of Jerusalem, in order to reach the desired goal of Judaizing the city.”
“The registration process in the area may lead to protests from the Waqf, which runs the mosque, and from Palestinians, Jordanians and others,” Haaretz said.
The newspaper pointed out that the first step in the registration process is to issue a public notice to anyone claiming ownership in the area where the registration is taking place, and the claimants are required to provide proof of ownership.
Haaretz quoted the Israeli Ministry of Justice in its response: “The allegations that the registration process is used to control the land and settle Jews there, are unfounded.”
The Department of Islamic Endowments in Jerusalem did not comment on this report.