A local official revealed on Tuesday that a network of fake companies based in Jordan has been established in order to buy Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank for Jewish settlers, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has reported. The settlers, it is claimed, are from the settlement of Amona, which Israel also regarded as illegal; and evacuated earlier this year.
According to the neighbourhood head in Silwad, located to the east of Ramallah, a Jordanian MP is involved. Abdul-Rahman Saleh added that these companies pay high prices for the land, up to 60,000 Jordanian Dinars for each dunam (quarter of an acre), whereas the market rate would be around 2,000 Dinars. Saleh said that some of the Palestinians travelled to Jordan to be paid the money.
After a review of the companies in question, he explained, they denied that they are buying land for Israeli settlers. However, he stressed that they have a history of buying real estate in Jerusalem on behalf of Israelis.
Saleh named these allegedly fake firms as Watan Company, Waheeb Company and the Holy Land Company; they are, he claimed, run by Palestinians and Jordanians, including a Jordanian MP.
The Palestinian official revealed that an attempt by Watan Company to buy land in Silwad was unsuccessful, even though the company offered $500,000 to the owner. He warned that if a single dunam was sold to the Israeli settlers from Amona, this would enable them to go back to the area and rebuild the settlement. He insisted that the evacuated settlers have been trying to return and rebuild it.
Saleh pointed out that his municipality had cooperated with a number of organisations to spread awareness of the danger of Israeli measures in the area. He is in constant touch with the PA security services on this issue. He also revealed that the Israeli settlers tried to seize some land near the Amona site under the pretext of Israel's Absentee Law, but failed.