Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Chaos at Westminster: UK's post-brexit leadership battle (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Chaos at Westminster: UK's post-brexit leadership battle (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

Matthew McConaughey and ‘Free State of Jones' shine new light on American civil war

Read more

FOCUS

Zika virus spreading fast across Puerto Rico

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Take a break: France’s love affair with vacations

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

THE INTERVIEW

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Panama: Triple X canal for giant cargos

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Israel’s ex-intel chief: ‘Together, we can do a lot to make Middle East a better place’

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

François Hollande: ‘Brexit result is irrevocable’

Read more

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.

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

2016-06-23 World War I

World War I: When northern France was on German time

During World War I, thirteen of France's regional departments were under German occupation. For four years, two million French citizens took their orders from Berlin. No more...

Read more

2016-06-17 USA

Video: American conservatives strike back

Some southern US lawmakers have launched a legislative offensive to protect the "religious freedom" they believe is under threat. In Mississippi, homosexuals can now be denied...

Read more

2016-06-09 Iran

Video: A year of change for Iran since nuclear accord

It’s now been a year since Iran struck its historic nuclear accord with six world powers under which Tehran vowed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of...

Read more

2016-06-03 Nigeria

Welcome to Nollywood: The world’s second-largest film industry

In just a few years, Nigeria has climbed the cinematic ladder and pushed Tinseltown into third (with Bollywood in India holding the top spot). Today, Nigeria is inundated with...

Read more

2016-05-26 Ukraine

Ukraine: Searching for missing people in Donbass

For the past two years, Ukraine has been divided. Despite several truces, clashes continue in the eastern regions between pro-Russian separatists and government forces. According...

Read more