West Bank account: Prankster inside E1 settlement sales secrets
22 Jan, 2013 09:59
Israelis willing to risk buying property in disputed area in the West Bank are being offered ‘amazing’ real estate deals. More property deals are likely to come if Benjamin Netanyahu claims victory in the elections in Israel.
Netanyahu is seeking his third term in the office and has stressed that Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are to be expanded by thousands of housing units.UK-based Jewish filmmaker Nimrod Kamer went to the disputed E1 sector in the West Bank and found out that not only settlements are being expanded, but the real estate deals in the area are beneficial to Jewish people.In his film, made exclusively for RT, Kamer pretends to be a real estate developer, who together with a rich UK investor goes to the E1 area to acquire land and property. The filmmaker explores the area and negotiates with locals to get him a better deal.He also reveals the public mood. At one point in the film he talks with a Jewish woman who wants to sell an apartment, who asserts that the land is Jewish, while Palestinians are just renting it.The newly built real estate in E1 largely belongs to one company that is ready to guarantee good deals for Israelis who want to settle in East Jerusalem, Kamer told RT, adding that there are also subsidies from the State of Israel.According to Kamer the properties are presented as a place for Jews and are competitively priced. Many Israelis move to the West Bank to simply save on real estate, rather than for political or religious reasons, he said.Meanwhile, the E1 area still remains highly disputed. In early January some 200 Palestinians and foreign activists set up a tent camp in E1 demanding to preserve the area for an independent Palestinian state.Two days later the camp was evicted by Israeli forces. The eviction was ordered by Prime Minister Netanyahu after the authorities convinced Israel’s High Court the action was necessary.By vowing to build housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has largely capitalized on security in his campaign, is undermining national safety, Tal Harris, executive director of the One Voice Movement, told RT.There is a contradiction between “a vague promise, that was made almost four years ago for a two-state solution, allegedly adopted by PM Netanyahu and an increasing build-up of settlements, which makes the two-state solution increasingly harder,” he explained.Shortly after Palestine secured non-member observer status at the UN Netanyahu promised to build 4,000 more housing units in the disputed territories, the construction of some 2,600 has already been approved.