Originally published 16 October 1996
in Kol HaIr
The diamond family Ben-David bought a home in Silwan through the Elad association. Tension in the village.
residents moved into Silwan this week. The Posen family settled into what
is called Rimon House, which guards hired by the settlers had entered the
night of the elections. The house, bought through Elad, was acquired using
monies from the diamonds and hotel businesses of the Ben-David family, and
actually belongs to them. They plan to renovate it for use by one branch
of the family, while the current residents, a young couple, lives there for
the time being. This family then joins donors from all over the Jewish world,
especially France and the U.S., who invest their money in Silwan and East
Jerusalem. The family is known to have many investments in the territories,
both financial and ideological, from the Palm Beach Hotel in Gush Katif [Gaza
Strip] to donations to Channel 7 [pirate religious radio station] and other
Purchase of the house, as usual for the settlers associations
in East Jerusalem, was conducted in total secrecy through a Palestinian straw
buyer, a former security prisoner who was known to the village as a Fatah
activist. By the time the Palestinian defenders of security discovered the
deal, it was too late. The Palestinian straw buyer was interrogated extensively
in Ramallah and Jericho, but the house had already been registered in the
name of the settlers.
Increased settler activity in East Jerusalem
raises great concerns among the Palestinians. A flyer was recently circulated
in Silwan warning the residents against using lawyers or real estate agents
who are not trustworthy.
The flyer, signed by a hitherto unknown group
called "Committee for Investigation in Jerusalem", claims that Palestinian
land dealers and lawyers are collaborating with the settlers groups, taking
deeds from Palestinians, and by underhanded means transferring property to
Thus, for example, an investigation is currently underway
by Palestinian security units into a well-known Palestinian lawyer in the
city who is associated with the Fatah on suspicion that he sold to an Israeli
company seven dunams [about 2 acres] on the slopes of Jabel Mukhbar. Another
investigation related to that one concerned the involvement of Palestinian
officers in land deals. One of the officers has been detained for several
weeks in Ramallah, and has admitted to at least one deal.
Copyright 1996, Kol Ha'Ir. For education and discussion only. Not for commercial use.