US works to prevent Jewish expansion in Jerusalem

Friday, July 25, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff  

The US State Department this week filed an official protest with Israel over the eviction of a family of Arab squatters from a Jewish-owned property on the eastern side of Jerusalem, reported Ha'aretz.

Earlier this week, the Jerusalem District Court upheld an Ottoman-era deed to a property in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and ordered the Arab family that had been illegally occupying the building since the 1950s to vacate the premises.

Israel's Foreign Ministry responded to the US protest by noting that the affair is an internal judicial matter, and as such neither the ministry nor the government of a foreign nation has any right to interfere.

An Israeli government source told Ha'aretz that the US Consulate in Jerusalem, which operates independent of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, has been tracking Jewish purchases of property in Arab-dominated neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

The consulate has been forwarding that data to the State Department, prompting regular protests over legitimate property purchases solely because they extend Jewish influence over the whole of Jerusalem.

The State Department has also taken to regularly complaining to the Israeli government over sporadic Jewish settler aggression against Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria. No complaints were filed with the Palestinian Authority over daily stone throwing attacks by Palestinian Arab youth against Jewish motorists.

Earlier this week, Israeli diplomatic officials worried that increased US interference in minor incidents, including some that are internal judicial affairs, could damage relations between Jerusalem and Washington.

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