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    Israeli Plots Target Identity of Al-Quds Village By Atef Daghlas, IOL Correspondent Islam Online February 11, 2005
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 11, 2005
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      Israeli Plots Target Identity of Al-Quds Village
      By Atef Daghlas, IOL Correspondent
      Islam Online
      February 11, 2005

      Lifta is the second largest in Al-Quds City.

      NABLUS, February 11 (IslamOnline.net) – "I was born here in 1924 and
      my father was buried the village's cemetery only 6 months before
      people were forced out back in 1948. The few signs remaining of the
      village's Arab and Islamic identity are under attack, who would

      The speaker is 81-year old Mohamed Sulaiman Abu Leil and the village
      is Lifta, located at the northern and western entrances of Al-Quds
      (occupied East Jerusalem). It is the second largest village in Al-
      Quds, according to 1945 statistics.

      Abu Leil was speaking, through his tears, to IslamOnline.net about
      Israeli plans to wipe out the few remaining Arab marks of the

      He was speaking just after spotting two Israeli youth stepping out
      of a house, with another girl holding a video camera hot on their

      The girl has just ended shooting a pornographic film inside the
      house, located in the village of Lifta to the west of Al-Quds City,
      where most Palestinian residents had been forced out, following the
      creation of Israel in 1948.

      The scene was a part of what local inhabitants say "an Israeli
      attempt to reverse its true Arab Islamic identity".

      For its part, Al-Aqsa Society of the Reconstruction of Islamic
      Shrines said Israelis had turned the old houses of the village into
      nightclubs and private property for Jews only.

      Every house has a "Private Property. No Entry" sign emblazoned in
      Herbrew on its façade, according the Society, based in Umm Al-Fahm,
      part of Arab lands seized by Israel in 1948.

      Even Lifta mosque was not spared. It is daubed with graffiti on love
      affairs and has empty bottles of wine inside.

      Construction Plot

      Israeli Al-Quds Municipality, for its part, has declared a plan to
      build a new Jewish district at the village, which is feared to lead
      to the destruction of many old buildings -- still defying Israeli
      plans -- for the new constructions to take place.

      The decision raised fury among the inhabitants of the village.

      "The plotted constructions in the village (on the debris of the
      cemetery) is no less than an extreme degree of oppression," Abu Leil
      said tearfully.

      Complaints were lodged against the Israeli construction plans, Al-
      Aqsa Society said in a statement, a copy of which was obtained by
      IOL Thursday, February 10.

      Israeli authorities responded to the protest, considering the
      village mosque and cemetery as holy sites – which means they could
      not be demolished for the new plan.

      The Society refused a compromise for turning the two sites into
      public places for fear they would be turned into restaurants,
      museums or exhibitions - as was the case in other 400 villages
      forcibly evacuated after the creation of Israel.


      The Israeli plan would also ban the return of local inhabitants
      massively expelled from the village despite winning judicial rulings
      in favor of their comeback.

      Still, most inhabitants of Lifta are luckier, since they took refuge
      in nearby areas in Al-Quds -– unlike over a million other
      Palestinians forced from all of the Palestinian territories in 1948
      to neighboring countries.

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