Ethnic Cleansing Continues

What is affected
Housing Social/public
Housing private
Land Social/public
Type of violation Forced eviction
Date 13 July 2008
Region MENA [ Middle East/North Africa ]
Country Palestine/Israel
Location Yaffa

Affected persons

Total 4000
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution
Details Ethnic Cleansing Continues in Yaffa.doc
Forced eviction

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Brief narrative

While the vast majority of urban Palestinians were exiled outside the new state of Israel, in the aftermath of the May 1948 occupation of Jaffa, as happened in other cities such as Haifa, Lydda and Acre, the small number of Palestinians who remained were forced into one neighborhood. Under Israel’s military rule of its Arab population (1948-1966) such neighborhoods effectively served as ghettos. In Jaffa, 4,000 Palestinians—a mixture of original inhabitants and refugees from surrounding villages—were gathered in the southern Ajami neighborhood while their houses in other parts of the city, or the surrounding villages, were occupied or destroyed.

In June 1948 Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary: “Jaffa will be a Jewish city. War is war.” Less than a year later he reported to the Israeli parliament that 45,000 new Jewish immigrants had been settled in the city’s “abandoned” homes.

In 2008, Israel’s more than one million Arab citizens live largely segregated from Jewish Israelis in overcrowded villages and neighborhoods with significantly less municipal funding, services and employment opportunities than Jewish areas. Jaffa is one of Israel’s so-called “mixed” cities, but a simple walk around its neighborhoods shows the lack of “mixing”—the rundown and overcrowded streets are a stark contrast from those of Tel Aviv. Ajami is the lowest income neighborhood of all Tel Aviv/Jaffa’s 60 neighborhoods.

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