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Jerusalem: Jewish Real Estate ‘Colonisation’ Ousting Palestinians and Christians

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The odd and mysterious sale of the home of the Muslim man who holds the key to the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, recently bought by an Israeli Jew, has reawakened the pain caused by the issue of property and real estate in the holy city, Asia News reports.

Adeeb Joudeh, whose family has held the key to the most cherished site in all of Christianity since the Crusades, has seen Israeli Jews enter the house. To those who asked him for explanations, he said he sold the property in 2016 to a Palestinian businessman, not “the enemy”. The “real estate” war is but one of the many fault-lines pitting communities in Jerusalem, the centre of Christianity and an equally sacred place for Jews and Muslims, contested capital between Israel and the future Palestinian state.

For a Palestinian to sell his house, real estate property or place of business to the Jewish “enemy” is deemed “treason”. Yet, some settler organisations involved in real estate swear that they are “overwhelmed” by the number of requests from Palestinians who want to sell and go abroad. With respect to this case, the news of the house sale spread across the city causing scandal and sparking outrage, reopening old wounds over what is an absolute taboo.

“We are Palestinians who live under occupation,” Adeeb Joudeh is quoted as saying in L’Orient-Le Jour. “Selling my house to Jews is a disgrace, not only for my family but for all Palestinians.”

Whilst how the change of ownership was done remains a mystery, the real estate war in Jerusalem and across Palestine is crystal clear. Every single sale of an asset outside the community is felt as an injury because – according to the shared view of Palestinians – keeping the property is a “sacred duty, at a political and religious level”.

Under Palestinian law, the sale of land or real estate to Israelis is a crime punishable by death. However, President Mahmoud Abbas has never authorised any executions since he came to power in 2004. Still, in light of the huge amounts of money offered in many cases by Jews to Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority has had to use an iron fist to try to crack down on a dangerous market and reassert once again – together with Muslim religious leaders – the absolute ban on sales.

If “real estate colonisation” worries the Palestinians, for Israeli Jews it represents a “peaceful” way of pursuing the ongoing territorial conflict. Even in the face of a “slow” process, it will bear fruit in the long run”. The confirmation of this comes from Arieh King, director of an agency specialised in the purchase of Palestinian Muslim assets, which are then sold to “new Jewish settlers”.

“It’s just a question of money,” says the real estate agent, who sometimes uses Arab intermediaries to facilitate buying and selling. As an Orthodox Jew, he says that he sometimes delays the formal purchase to allow the Palestinian family that sells to flee abroad to avoid retaliation.

“Together with the sale, we give them a hand with the exit papers”, thus killing two birds with one stone: we buy houses and make sure that Arabs leave Israel. It’s fantastic.”

The issue of ownership also worries Christian leaders, as evinced by the recent statement made by Mgr Atallah Hanna, the Archbishop of Sebastia of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. Slamming all those who agree to sell (or sell off) Christian and Muslim property in Palestine, he reiterated that assets are under attack with the aim of “marginalising” the Christian presence in the Holy Land.

“Those who sold off their properties and target our endowments are seeking to depreciate our historical presence in this holy land,” bemoaned the prelate.

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Man Detained in Paris After Tearing Down Flag From French Parliament Building

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A man was detained by gendarmes in Paris after he climbed the wall of the National Assembly’s building and removed a tricolour flag, Le Parisien reports.

According to Le Parisien, the gendarmes of the Republican Guard spotted a man on CCTV as he was climbing the wall of the National Assembly’s building to remove a tricolour flag. When the thief climbed down, they apprehended him and took the flag.

According to the paper, the thief was a 23-year-old man who was drunk at the time of the incident, the newspaper reported. He was handed over to the police and placed in a drunk tank.

The man lives in the 15th arrondissement in the southwest of Paris and was known to the police as a repeat offender.

The National Assembly is the lower house of the French parliament. It is located at the Palais Bourbon in the city’s 7th arrondissement.

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‘Zero truth’: Trump says Iran’s Claim it Captured CIA Spies is ‘Totally False’

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The Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth. Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do. Their Economy is dead, and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!

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UK to Send Nuclear Sub, Commandos to the Gulf After Tanker Seizure by Iran

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Britain’s Royal Navy is beefing up its military presence in the Persian Gulf with a nuclear-powered submarine and maritime forces, UK media report. 

A 7,400-tonne Astute-class nuclear-powered submarine, equipped with cruise missiles and heavy torpedoes, will be assigned a solely defensive role, military sources told the Daily Express tabloid. It is expected to intercept communications between Iranian servicemen and report them back to naval headquarters in the UK.

“We are sending a boat – it may well already be heading for the region,” a Royal Navy insider was quoted as saying. “Its role is a covert intelligence posture, simply gathering information to support the planned escort convoys of tankers.”

According to a separate report in The Sun, the Navy will also dispatch marines from 42 Commando, M Company. The HMS Duncan, a type 45 air-defence destroyer, was dispatched to the Gulf earlier this month to assist Britain’s only warship operating there, the Type 23 HMS frigate Montrose, based in Bahrain.

The RFA Wave Knight supply tanker, currently stationed in Gibraltar, will transit to the region in August, while the HMS Kent frigate will be deployed there in September.

The Navy also has four mine hunters and a landing ship dock committed to the area. “We have the ability to send more ships but they will take weeks so the Marines are a perfect fit in the short term,” a military insider told The Sun.

“The men have been told they could be deployed on to commercial vessels. Tankers are also now likely to travel in convoy and shipping will be protected. But our main brief is not to escalate the situation — and provide a deterrent.”

UK defence officials are yet to commend on the reports, but they typically stay mum about such deployments. It comes as Theresa May is holding an emergency meeting on Monday, focused on ways to maintain security of shipping in the Persian Gulf.

The authorities have advised British ships to temporarily avoid the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps impounded two tankers on Friday. One of the vessels was released, while the other was taken to a port in southern Iran pending an investigation.

Tehran claimed that the tanker ignored the distress calls of an Iranian fishing boat and collided with it. At the same time, Tehran officials indicated that the seizure came as a tit-for-tat response following the detention of a tanker allegedly transporting Iranian oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he had spoken to his Iranian counterpart to voice his “extreme disappointment”, while London may soon move to hit Iran with a series of sanctions.

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