Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

French MPs meet Assad causing divisions in Paris

Read more

DEBATE

The Deal With Internet Service (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Deal With Internet Services

Read more

FOCUS

India: Anti-corruption party vows to end Delhi's 'VIP culture'

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Congressional standoff over immigration

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Vicious flu epidemic hits France

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Venezuela is running out of toilet paper'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French employers try special deals with workers to save jobs

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The challenges ahead for Charlie Hebdo

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 8.40 pm Paris time.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

Latest update : 2010-02-22

Jerusalem: the battle for land

A new battle for land has begun in East Jerusalem. Religious Jews are buying up land and houses from their Palestinian owners. Their aim: to make any future division of Jerusalem impossible. But for the families who give in to the temptation to sell, the reprisals can end in death. France 24 takes you behind the scenes to meet both sides of a highly controversial property war.

Behind the scenes of the Jerusalem battle for land, by Marc de Chalvron

A discreet meeting in an upscale Jerusalem hotel, big sums of cash, death threats and financial blackmail…welcome to the behind the scenes story of the Jerusalem battle.

Arieh King is not a man who hides. This is his strategy: saying out loud what everybody thinks in private. "Money will solve the problem", he says calmly. He has just come out of a discreet meeting with a Palestinian. Filmed by a hidden camera, the self-dubbed Zionist real estate broker in East Jerusalem tries to persuade his Arab interlocutor to leave his land. Hundreds of thousands of shekels are offered to convince him. King’s ultimate objective is political: to install as many Jews as possible in Palestinian areas of the holy city. He’ll stop at nothing, as long as it is legal under Israeli law, to make the Arabs leave and make Jerusalem Jewish.

Mohammed Maraji is the hidden face of this murky world. For the first time, he accepts to be filmed, although not without hesitation and equivocation, and he sometimes even threatens us. He is right to be afraid. Today he voluntarily acknowledges that he was a "collaborator", the person who allowed a group of settlers to buy houses; to obtain land in East Jerusalem. A risky affair.

A Palestinian who sells his house to a Jew quite simply runs the risk of death. And everyone thinks so today: even for his family and the few friends he has left, Mohammed Maraji is indeed guilty of this "crime". He denies it with the little force and energy he has left, saying he never signed the papers. Now betrayed, he defends himself and hits back, slamming the settlers’ methods and setting himself a lifetime objective: to kick out those Jews who today live in "his" house. This broken, lonely man wants revenge on the settlers.

For several weeks, Marc de Chalvron and Annette Young, FRANCE 24’s correspondents in Jerusalem, followed these two men with two separate destinies: one spurred on by ideology, the other broken by years of frustration. A world which is neither black nor white, but grey - this is where the future of Jerusalem is being played out.

By Marc DE CHALVRON , Annette YOUNG

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-02-20 West Bank

Building in the West Bank

In the West Bank, Jewish settlements continue to expand. Some are authorised by the Israeli government, some not, but all are considered illegal by the international community...

Read more

2015-02-12 Tunisia

Tunisians flock to join the jihad

As Tunisia moves slowly forward on the path to democracy, the country is proportionally one of the biggest exporters of jihadist fighters. Over the past three years thousands of...

Read more

2015-02-05 India

India: the myth of 'Love Jihad'

In India, where religious tensions and violence are on the rise, Hindu extremists are accusing Muslims of practising “Love Jihad”. India’s Muslims deny these accusations and...

Read more

2015-01-16 Charlie Hebdo

Paris attacks: Who were the terrorists?

For three days, they spread fear and horror across France, killing 17 people before being shot dead by police. Their rampage began with an attack on satirical weekly Charlie...

Read more

2015-01-30 Syria

Syria: Wresting control of Kobani from IS group

After long months of fierce fighting in northern Syria, the Kurdish town of Kobani has been recaptured from Islamic State group jihadists. Our reporters witnessed the final hours...

Read more