Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Internet users say "we are not afraid" after Westminster attack

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan faces water crisis

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Midwife', 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Girl Asleep'

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

The hidden collection: Iran exhibits contemporary art masterpieces

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

More countries suspend Brazilian meat imports amid scandal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Brussels attacks, one year on: 'What if their hate has contaminated us?'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR Congo: Rare footage of killings in central Kasaï province sparks alarm

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French interior minister quits over holiday jobs for daughters

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A French presidential debate with few surprises

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

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

2017-03-16 Americas

Canada’s indigenous people determined to improve their lives

Although Canada regularly tops international rankings for its quality of life, the daily existence of the country’s indigenous people, also known as "First Nations", has more in...

Read more

2017-03-09 Middle East

Iraq's lost children: Victims of post-traumatic stress

In Iraq, thousands of civilians are fleeing the battle of Mosul against the Islamic State group jihadists. Many of the displaced have reached IDP camps in the north of the...

Read more

2017-03-03 Africa

Libya: Six years on, what remains of the revolution in key city of Zintan?

Six years have passed since the outbreak of the revolution that led to the ouster and killing of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. With the country divided between rival clans,...

Read more

2014-03-14 Bashar al-Assad

Syria’s chemical attacks: the inside story

A chemical weapons attack targeted the suburbs of Damascus in August 2013. The West threatened air strikes in response, and Syria agreed to destroy its chemical arms stockpile....

Read more

2017-02-24 Middle East

Video: India’s Kuki people, possible descendants of one of Israel's lost tribes

In northeastern India, a small ethnic group claims to be one of the lost tribes of Israel. The fervour of the Kuki people has persuaded the Chief Rabbi of Israel to approve their...

Read more