The Jewish-owned neighbourhood of Eshel Avraham is opposite the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem
This item from Arutz Sheva caught my eye because the descendants of those Jews expelled from 100 homes in the Eshel Avraham neighbourhood in East Jerusalem in 1929 still retained their title deeds until April of this year, when they decided to sell the properties. Whether you agree or not with the efforts of the Israel Land Fund to 'retain Jewish control' over the property, is another matter.
Arieh King, Jerusalem councilman and director of the Israel Land Fund, told Arutz Sheva about
the struggle he has been engaged in over the last year to keep a block
of buildings in the "Eshel Avraham" Georgian neighborhood area of
eastern Jerusalem in Jewish hands.
The site in question consists of a dunam of property, and three homes
spread over 800 meters in the neighborhood located opposite the
Damascus Gate to the north of the Old City on Hanevi'im Street. The neighborhood was established in 1892 by Jews who immigrated from Georgia and held 100 homes for affluent families
- and later violently occupied by Arabs in the 1929 riots that killed
seven local Jews and destroyed homes and synagogues in the neighborhood.
In April, around the Jewish holiday of Pesach (Passover), the Jewish families in France who still hold the rights to the block
decided to sell it for roughly 11 million shekels (nearly $3 million)
and turned to a real estate agency to help them in doing so.
The agency owner suggested the site to King, who found a buyer from America interested in purchasing the property.
However, a few days later, roughly 10% of the property was sold to an
Arab family despite the fact that the American buyer had "shaken hands"
on the deal. Now King is trying to facilitate the purchase of the rest
of the property, and fears outside influences and shady money may
endanger the chances of keeping the property in Jewish hands.
In recent days, one of the owners agreed to sell 50% of the property
in his possession, and currently both sides are engaged in negotiations.
Asked whether the whole issue is a matter of money, King told Arutz Sheva "yes and no, we don't want the owners to take a loss and are even willing to pay him 10% more; on the other hand, we don't want Jews to take advantage of the situation and try to extort us."
"The main thing is to leave the property in Jewish hands," stated
King. "Jews were slaughtered there less than 100 years ago by an Arab
mob; the place must not be transferred to Arab control."
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