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November 1998 
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MER - Washington - Nov 6:

There are many unforgiveable shortcomings to the agreements that have been signed since Oslo -- basic issues that will haunt Israelis and Palestinians for a long time into the future just as the inadequate agreements made in previous decades have only resulted in further conflict and hatred. But overall, Israel's variant of modern-day "legalistic" ethnic cleansing is near the top of the list.

And while the Arafat crowd pockets the millions so gullibly donated by the Europeans to the "PA", in exchange for policing the autonomous Palestinian "population centers" on behalf of the Israeli occupiers and signing some of the worst one-sided agreements in history, the story of the relentless drive to Judaize Jerusalem remains obscured behind the daily barrage of charges and counter-charges. And all the while the Palestinians are squeezed and demoralized at every turn, more and and more pushed toward civil war against their own instincts.

Led by none other than Ariel Sharon, Israel's new Foreign Minister and a man who his own personal settlement inside the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Judaization of Jerusalem proceeds, slowly bit surely. Others might say full speed ahead. And all under cover of the American "Peace Process"; all done with American money, arms, and political support.

The following Agence France Presse article tells a part of the still worsening story:



by Nomi Bar-Yaacov

JERUSALEM (9/15 - AFP) - Israel is developing new legal weapons toaccelerate the deportation of Arab residents from east Jerusalem despite government promises to curb the practice, Israeli rights activists said Tuesday.

The human rights groups Betselem and Hamoked told a press conferencethat the interior ministry was enlisting the help of the state socialsecurity agency to track down Palestinians whose residency rights have allegedly lapsed.

A joint report by the two groups said that cancellations of Jerusalemresidency permits jumped from an average of 30 per year from 1987 to1995 to more than 600 annually since the nationalist government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to power in May 1996.

The rhythm accelerated further during the first three months of 1998,with 178 Palestinians having their residency permits revoked and another 500 cases put under review, they said.

Loss of residency permits forces Palestinians, many of whose familieshave lived in Jerusalem for generations, to move to the West Bank or abroad. They also lose benefits offered by Israel's social security system and access to public schools.

Amid growing public criticism of the deportations, Netanyahu promisedmore than a year ago to review the policy, including making it "easier for those who have lost their Jerusalem residency to retrieve their identity cards."

"We want to make life easier for Arabs and Jews alike" in the city, hesaid at the time.

But Eliahu Abram, a lawyer with Hamoked, said Netanyahu's government had done just the opposite and was now even using the social security agency to force out Arab residents.

"The National Insurance Institute has become an integral part of thequiet deportation policy which the ministry of interior is effectuating," said Abram.

The institute, he said, requires Palestinians from east Jerusalem toprovide numerous documents when they apply for health care, entry to schools or other benefits.

Even when the documents are provided, including leases or proof of homeownership, copies of utility bills and local tax payments, applicantsare often rejected, a move which forces families to locate elsewhere, Abram said.

When it comes across persons who lack proper documentation, theinsurance institute passes the information on to the interior ministry which is charged with revoking residency rights, he said.

Israel justifies the deportations by saying they only affect people whohave forfeited their permanent residency rights by living outside Jerusalem for seven years or more.

Palestinians respond that Israel issues virtually no building permits to Arabs in east Jerusalem, forcing some residents and notably youngcouples to move abroad or into suburbs in the West Bank.

Many women who reside in east Jerusalem but marry men from the West Bank are also forced to give up their residency by an Israeli refusal to grant their husbands or children identity cards.

Human rights organisations have challenged the government's policy oneast Jerusalem residency to Israel's supreme court on grounds it is racially discriminatory.

In a move Abrams described as potentially groundbreaking, the high court for the first time demanded an official justification for the deportations.

The government's response is expected to be given to the high court incoming days, he said.

Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war andannexed it as part of Israel's "eternal capital."

Since 1967, Israel has built 40,000 public housing units and settledsome 170,000 Jews in the sector and major new Jewish quarters are planned.

During the same time only 600 housing units were built for Palestinians, who hope to make east Jerusalem the capital of a future state of their own.




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