ISRAEL - Abandoned Arab Village Becomes Israeli Neighborhood

Arno Froese

The Israel Lands Authority (ILA), the government body charged with public land management, announced on Jerusalem Day the opening of bids for construction companies to take charge of the development of the Lifta neighborhood in Jerusalem. 

The development plan, once signed, will be in effect for 98 years, with the ability to extend the deal at a later point. 

It will include 259 housing units, as well as areas sectioned off for trade and commerce, in addition to space for a hotel. 

Lifta—Mei Neftoach in Hebrew—is the western-most neighborhood in Jerusalem, was abandoned in 1948 and is the last Arab town inside Jerusalem from that time that has yet to be resettled. 

Yakoub Odeh, 81, was eight-years-old when the town was abandoned, and expressed the anger felt by others: “We are in pain and in shock... This decision is illegal,” he told Ynet. 

“Mazal tov Jerusalem!” Former-Jerusalem Municipality councilmember Yair Gabbai announced on his Facebook page. 

“After years of delays the ILA published a public bid notice for rebuilding the new neighborhood in Lifta.”

Gabbai added that a synagogue will be added to the neighborhood as well, writing that “it is exciting and symbolic that this is taking place on Jerusalem Day.”, 10 May 2021

Arno's Commentary

Determined Israelis continue to develop territories conquered by military force. While this may be debated by various human rights organizations, Israel is establishing literal—in concrete—realities in the Promised Land, which after a while will make it all but impossible for the creation of an Arab Palestinian state in the Promised Land. 

Viewing this development from recent history, there will be strong opposition, but the process of Israeli law will retain the upper hand. The decision is based on the declaration of “public land”; subsequently, available for development.

Based on the prophecies of Ezekiel, the country will be inhabited by Israel: “And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country” (Ezekiel 34:13).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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