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Israel court places lien on Yasser Arafat’s land in Jerusalem

Palestinians hold posters and light candles as they commemorate the death of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on 11 November 2013 [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages ]
Palestinians hold posters and light candles as they commemorate the death of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on 11 November 2013 [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages ]

An Israeli court in Jerusalem today placed a temporarily lien on land in occupied Jerusalem which is partly owned by former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The land in the Mount of Olives covers an area of ​​2.7 dunams (0.67 acres), of which Arafat owns 0.5 per cent, or 135 square metres.

The order comes in response to a compensation claim by Israelis who say they are “victims of terrorism” and filed a lawsuit against the Palestinian Authority and Arafat’s estate.

The Israelis claimed in the lawsuit that even if they won the case, it would be difficult to obtain compensation from Arafat’s estate, so they called for the land to place a lien on the property until compensation is paid.

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A lien is a claim against an asset that allows a person to keep the property of a person who owes them money until it has been paid.

Haaretz reported that the suit said: “The defendant is not blessed with many exposed assets. As opposed to an ordinary defendant, whose assets can be exposed in various registries, official databases or through a routine investigative procedure, the assets of the defendant are not registered in open databases accessible to the plaintiffs. They are registered, if at all, in the registries of the Palestinian Authority that the plaintiffs have no access to.”

Some 120 lawsuits are underway against the Palestinian Authority in Israeli courts based on claims the Palestinian Authority is responsible for damages stemming from resistance operations against the occupation state.

The newspaper quoted Yossi Arnon, the lawyer representing the Palestinian Authority in the case, as saying: “I think this is vindictiveness and has no real legal basis. It’s like saying there was a murder in Jerusalem, so the Israel Police are responsible. That the attacker came from the territory of the PA does not make the PA responsible.”

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