The village of Lifta is the last surviving Arab village of its kind in Israel, all others having been destroyed after 1948. It is the only village that can be preserved as a witness to traditional forms of architecture and agriculture that have otherwise almost completely disappeared.
We, the undersigned, call for the immediate halt to the bidding process and the plan to market plots for construction in the village of Lifta.
As we speak, the Israel Land Administration is marketing most of Lifta's land to private developers, who will eventually destroy its unique nature and turn it into a residential neighborhood for the rich.
The village's remains and the open areas around it have become a touchstone to researchers, hikers and lovers of history and nature from all over the country and around the world.
The marketing of the plots has begun despite the fact that no preservation plan and no sufficient documentation of the archeological remains were produced as required for the building plan.
Like hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who left their villages during the war of 1948, and who have never been allowed to return to their homes, the original inhabitants of Lifta have never been allowed to return to their village. Many of them live today in East Jerusalem, but are not included, like most of us – inhabitants of Jerusalem, experts in preservation, and others – in the process of planning intended for the village.
We call for a halt to the bidding process, before we lose the uniqueness of Lifta and its significance to the landscape, future research, the world's cultural heritage and most importantly, to our history and society.
The Civic Coalition to Save Lifta
Arabic or Hebrew speakers? Please sign the Arabic and Hebrew petition: http://www.atzuma.co.il/lifta
The Lifta Facebook page: http://goo.gl/X1GNk
Photographs from Lifta: Photo Album
Ilan Shtayer firstname.lastname@example.org