Historic Palestinian and Jewish homes seized and turned into concrete boxes by Israel
Marianne Azizi writes:
In the town of Rehovot (Khirbat Deiran) in what is now Israel, there are over 100 buildings which are listed as “unknown”. One such building is a house constructed over 250 years ago by an Arab sheikh.
This was before the establishment of the state of Israel, when many families lived on the land as farmers and farm workers. Jewish settlers of Russian descent also lived in the area.
As the Jewish occupation of the land increased, the house was sold by the owner’s son to a Yemeni Jewish family in the 1930s.
Their ownership of the house continued until the 1990s when it was taken from them by the Israeli courts.
Twenty years ago, the court decided that the property was of historic interest and declared that no one could live in it. The occupants were evicted and court battles raged as they fought to keep their property of over 60 years.
However, even before the final judgement was made the house was filled with concrete. It stands empty to this day.
The residents of the town were shocked at the criminal act of destruction of such a beautiful site. It is still not certain why the house was seized and its occupants evicted.
This is by no means an isolated case. Many old buildings in today’s Israel are taken over by the state.
A similar situation occurred in the old city of Jaffa when a Palestinian family fought and succeeded in preventing their historic home from being sold for demolition to build new apartments.
Generations of love imbued in the home by both Arabs and Jews are now truly set in stone, empty, forever.