Ramallah: The Occupied Jerusalem Municipality has seized four dunums of land from its Palestinian owner, Kamal Obaidat, and will use it to build a parking lot for the Shimon Hatzadik Tomb in the Arab neighbourhood of Shaikh Jarrah in Occupied East Jerusalem.

According to the municipal procedures, the Occupied Jerusalem Municipality can take over land that is not being used for public benefit. The municipality rarely grants Arab residents of Occupied East Jerusalem building licenses.

Obaidat appealed to Occupied Jerusalem Local Affairs Court, complaining that the Occupied Jerusalem Municipality did not have the right to take over his land and that he would build the parking lot on his own land should that be a necessity for the visitors of the tomb.

According to Fakhri Abu Diab, a member of the Silwan Defence Committee, the court has no right to take the land after Obaidat proved that the land belonged to him and that he would build the parking lot himself.

Logically, the court must have been the one to give the municipality the green light to confiscate the land because it needs to authorise sending police troops to implement the seizure, he explained. Municipal procedures are blatantly discriminatory towards Palestinians because on the one hand it does not issue building licenses to them and on the other hand the unused land is confiscated for Jewish use.