Israel is preparing to claim a total of $150 billion in compensation for the property of Jews who migrated from Arab countries to occupied Palestine, Israel Today has reported.
The process of estimating the property values started in 2002, the newspaper pointed out. It noted that the law to claim compensation for Arab Jews was passed by the Israeli parliament in 2010 as a condition of a regional peace deal; negotiations began with the Arab countries in 2017.
According to media reports, the compensation claimed will include assets from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya. In January, Israel was reportedly planning to seek an estimated $250 billion from Arab countries after the government in Tel Aviv quietly conducted some research on the value of property and assets that the Jews left behind.
Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, an international parent group of Jewish organisations, claims that around 856,000 Jews from 10 Arab countries — including Algeria and Lebanon — fled or were expelled during the 1948 Nakba, when 800,000 Palestinians were expelled and 532 villages were destroyed by the creation of the State of Israel.
According to Russian broadcaster RT, former British MP George Galloway denounced the Israeli move for compensation. "Israel bombed and destroyed the nuclear reactors in Iraq some 25-30 years ago. Is Iraq going to be compensated by Israel for that?" the pro-Palestinian Galloway asked. "Israel occupied and has annexed a part of Syria — the Golan Heights — and it is harvesting oil there as we speak. Is Israel going to compensate Syria for that?"
Citing Libya and Iran as examples, he added that some of these countries have got funds frozen in the United Sates. "Israel could seek to claim these funds by going to US courts. The whole thing would be laughable if it were not for this fact."
In the coming weeks, said Maan News Agency, it is expected that the compensation project will be presented to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.