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Har Homa

The issue of Har Homa is known to the public and the media as an issue of dispute between Palestinians and Israelis, where each side claims its right to control the area. What escaped from the eyes of the public and the media is the fact that the problem originated not as a result of political confrontation, but rather as a result of governmental and municipal officials' determination to develop the land without the landowners.

The question has never been and is not to build or not to build. The question is should the owners build, or should the land be expropriated and given to government-designated builders. In 1991 the Government of Israel made use of Land Expropriation Law, 1943, which is intended for land expropriations for public purposes, such as military bases, hospitals etc. The law was not intentded for seizing lands from enterprise companies (such as Makor, which planned to build a neighborhood there). Three times was the Israeli government changed since the expropriation in 1991. And still, the country is involved in deep political and budgetary crisis, proving that government-instituted construction on Har Homa does not contribute anything to Israel's position in East Jerusalem. In fact, the contrary is the case. We state that control over territory and land ownership are two distinguishable things.

The issue of expopriations became one of the central issues of this decade:

"Property rights is truly the civil rights issue of the 1990's and beyond. When the rights to own and control property are infringed, the rights of free speech, association and many others are put at risk. Who would dare to speak out against a government that can take their land at any moment, with no restraint."

(Nancy G. Marzulla, President and Chief Legal Councel, Defenders of Property Rights, Washington, DC)

“The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.” “Man’s Rights,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 94.

“To protect Property Rights on June 28, 2006 US administration published Executive Order 13406 - Protecting the Property Rights of the American People

Harhoma Case Documents