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The Struggle of the Lifta Families | Open Letter

Discrimination Against Refugees by the Israeli Authorities

 We, the current residents of the Lifta village, escaped in 1948 from persecutions of the Muslim regime in Iraq to the new state of Israel. Upon our arrival we were ordered by the Israeli authorities to inhabit the Palestinian village of Lifta in Jerusalem's outskirts, (its original residents were evacuated and it houses became "absentee property" according to Israeli law) miles away from any municipal or civic facility and without electricity or water connection

In the past 63 years we built our homes in Lifta despite the hard and difficult living conditions. We were able to transform the deserted Palestinian village to a new neighborhood of Jerusalem and to raise our families there

Photo: Ester Ovadia from Lifta and the Statement of claim

Photo: Ester Ovadia from Lifta and the Statement of claim

To our astonishment, the Government of Israel recently decided that we have illegally "invaded" the village – The same village we were forced to house 63 years ago by the same Government. To make things worse, now, after living in Lifta for 63 years, we are indicted and prosecuted in the Israeli Courts in order to evacuate us from Lifta

We have been pawns in the hands of the Israeli government, first settling us in the village in order to inhabit the Palestinian homes, then using us as human shields in inhuman condition, (when the border ran along side the neighborhood until 1967) we suffered from harsh neglect during the years and finally, the government is viciously trampling over our basic rights in an attempt to banish us from our homes, claiming we are invaders

As Jewish refugees we seek your help and representation in front of the Israeli Authorities. It is unheard of that Jewish refugees in Israel will be prosecuted by the Israeli authorities for their only "crime" – settling in Lifta in accordance with directives given to us 63 years ago by the Israeli Government

For the past 63 years we have deepened our ties in Lifta and from a deserted village we made it a beautiful home for us and families. These days we are being described by Israel as invaders and proceeding initiated to throw us away from our homes, without compensation, after 60 years of living there

We approach you as a last resort and in order to avoid the next necessary step – Initiating proceedings against Israel in the European Court of Justice – proceedings which may taint and shame Israel in the world public eye. Our Country is too dear to us and we hope that with your influence it will be possible to avoid legal measures against Israel and its current leaders

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