Jewish Settlers Faked 14 Out Of 15 West Bank Land Deals, Stole Palestinians’ Lands, Israeli Investigation Finds
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
An investigation by the Israel Police fraud squad has found that 14 out of 15 real estate acquisitions made by a pro-Jewish-settler land acquisition company were forged, Ha’aretz reported today based on a report by the Israeli Channel 10 news program HaMakor with Raviv Drucker.
The company, Al-Watan headed by settler activist Ze’ev Hever, purports to buy West Bank land from Palestinians and turns that land into illegal Jewish settlements the government often turns a blind eye to.
But in the relatively rare occasions when the government tried to stop illegal Jewish settlements or evacuate them, Al-Watan would announce that the land the particular illegal settlement stood on had been secretly purchased its Palestinian owners. And despite the fact that Israel Police initially turned an intentionally blind eye to the fraud and forgeries, it now turns out that once the layers of strawmen are pierced, 14 of those 15 purported land sales were in fact frauds based on forged documents.
Perhaps worse yet, one of the Palestinian strawmen used by Hever’s Al-Watan was apparently promised residency in Israel proper to protect him from retribution and to allow him to see his children and their families who live in Israel. But those promises made by Hever’s Al-Watan were not kept, and the Palestinian man in question, who signed many of the forged documents, now lives in fear.
“I told them I am signing for all the Palestinians, but let me live in Israel because of my children. My children are in Israel, and I don’t see them, and I am always entering Israel and going to jail because I have no permit, and I tell them in the investigation that I am threatened,” the Palestinian strawman said. “I have a problem in the Palestinian Authority, and I am threatened unless you let me live in Israel. I sold [land] because they would help me, and no one is helping me. I am suffering from complexes now.”
Two Palestinian strawmen reportedly say that at the signings, an Israeli lawyer from Jerusalem (who is so far unnamed due to gag order), hands them a suitcase with half a million shekels ($126,400). When they go outside, the lawyer takes the suitcase and the money back. The purpose of that charade is to fake the land transaction.
“[The lawyer] told me that this man’s friend cannot put the land under his name because of the Income Tax Authority. I signed on the papers and afterward he gave me a suitcase full of money and told me, ‘Take this.’ When I went downstairs, he took the money back and told me, ‘Take, this [much smaller amount of money] is what you get.’ That’s all,” the Palestinian reportedly said.
Attorney Eytan Lehman is secretly recorded at a meeting with one of the men, which took place at a gas station. Lehman tells the man to call Channel 10’s Drucker and tell him that he does not remember anything about the deals.
“The question is if you can have the conversation with him,” Lehman says in the recording. “Tell him perhaps I no longer remember the story, blah, blah, blah, and then he will tell you, but don’t worry I know the whole story. Tell him what does he mean 'know the whole story,' for you don’t remember what I said to the police or something like that…Try to get it out of him without him understanding.”