The Orient House







11 July 2001 



Israel to Confiscate More Land in

Occupied East Jerusalem for the Light Rail



Last week, the Israeli West Jerusalem Municipality issued letters to several Palestinian families in the Shu’fat neighborhood informing them that they intend to confiscate 15 dunums of land to build a parking lot and a station for the future Light Rail.  The land, owned by the Palestinian families of Al Mashni, Ismaili, Abu Nia’, Abu Khdeir and Jabar, is located to the east of the Jerusalem – Ramallah road at the intersection leading to the Pisgat Ze’ev bypass.


The future Light Rail project is designed to facilitate public transportation for Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem to areas in West Jerusalem. According to the Israeli Development Authority, the rail would be composed of eight lines running approximately 50 km. through some 26 stations. 


The first stage of the project, scheduled for completion in 2004, will connect the settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev with Mount Herzl in West Jerusalem and will include a tunnel from Damascus Gate to the Israeli City Hall near New Gate.  The Light Rail will also reach the future Eastern Gate settlement project in Issawiye, adjacent to where the 17 house demolitions occurred yesterday. 


International law prohibits the confiscation of land and the destruction of property (Art. 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention) in occupied territory.  The Orient House believes Israel is taking advantage of the political vacuum in Jerusalem caused by the passing of the late Faisal Husseini and demands that the international community restrain Israel from taking further provocative actions to prejudice the status of Jerusalem. 





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