Monday, November 19, 2007

Ever See an "Illegal Home"?

Homes in illegal Israeli settlements for sale at London expo

Israeli companies are using UK property shows to sell housing in illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, Guardian Unlimited can reveal. At the Israel Property Exhibition at Brent town hall, North London last Sunday, one company, Anglo-Saxon Real Estate, was offering for sale properties in Maale Adumim and Maccabim. Both West Bank settlements lie on the Palestinian side of the so-called green line, the pre-1967 boundary and often cited as the border between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

...Maale Adumim forms part of the Israelis' controversial E1 plan, which would see the building of thousands of housing units as well as industrial and tourism zones to connect the settlement with Jerusalem.

...In answer to a parliamentary question in June, Howells said: "The UK consistently makes clear its view that settlements are illegal under international law and that settlement activity is an obstacle to peace." He added: "We are concerned by reports of Israeli construction work at El. The continuing process of establishing settlements is encircling east Jerusalem and breaking up Palestinian territorial contiguity throughout the West Bank.

And Gavin has an opinion:

"These practices fuel Palestinian anger, threaten to cut east Jerusalem off from the West Bank and undermine the prospect for a viable Palestinian state."
Gavin Gross, director of public affairs at the Zionist Federation, which organised the Brent fair, said: "While the promotion or sale of houses beyond Israel's green line is a contentious subject for some, it is not prohibited in Britain." He said Anglo-Saxon was just one of a number of companies at the fair and other exhibitors were not selling properties in the West Bank. Properties in illegal settlements were also on offer at a fair at Finchley synagogue, in North London, last month. The poster advertising the exhibition called on investors to "strengthen your portfolio and Israel's future".

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