Israeli politician wants to shrink his homeland

AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana
The Israeli residency status of two East Jerusalem suburbs may be revoked, if Israel’s Vice Premier has his way. Haim Ramon (Kadima) wants Jabel Mukaber and Zur Baher to be treated as Palestinian villages.

It comes at a time when Japan, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Autonomy have agreed to start work on an industrial and agricultural park in the West Bank – a joint project as part of the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” programme.

According to the official, the villages were never part of Jerusalem and were only annexed to the city in 1967, with no Israeli ever going there.

The statement follows an attack by a resident of Zur Baher who killed three and wounded dozens, ramming into a bus with a bulldozer. Another attack took place in March when a resident of Jabel Mukaber gunned down eight people in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the Likhud faction in the Israeli parliament has presented a draft law which cancels allocations for the burial of terrorists even if they are Israel’s citizens. Under the law currently in force, the government provides money for the burial of all militants given they are Israeli passport holders. The faction estimates the law can be adopted this summer.