Jerusalem’s Land Wars (1997): This film takes us to the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict over land ownership in Palestinian East Jerusalem.
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Palestinians claim that homes being bulldozed by Jews are poisoning peace efforts around Jerusalem. “God don”t bless them”, screams a middle aged Arab woman. Her house is being forcibly demolished in front of her eyes after she was accused of illegally building extra rooms. Despite a planned court hearing Israeli soldiers refuse to wait and the bulldozers begin smashing down the walls. “This is not good government” shouts a neighbour at soldiers standing nearby. A court injunction finally stops the demolition, but several rooms are already rubble. The Mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, is overseeing a massive building program of new Jewish settlements, the most contentious of which is Har Homa. Olmert says that the construction does not violate the Oslo accords, a set of agreements between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization made in 1993, and promises the building program will continue. In the disputed Muslim Quarters of the city, armed guards protect Jewish residents. Hussam Jweihan refuses to sell to Jewish buyers; now an armed Israeli guard is paid to watch him. An Arab landowner claims her tenant ‘sold’ her property to Jews, a move upheld by the courts. The new Jewish owner says that she has a God-given right to be there. This subtle war breeds ever more tension between Jews and Arabs.
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ABC Australia – Ref. 0347