New Office Begins Investigating Lost Property of Middle East Jews

(Media Line-Jerusalem Post) Benjamin Joffe-Walt - A new department has been set up by the Israel Ministry of Pensioners Affairs to manage the legal claims of Israeli Jews of Middle Eastern descent who lost their property when they left countries throughout the region. The office will help identify, locate and seek compensation for the assets of the more than one million Jews who came to Israel from Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria. The Knesset approved a law earlier this year requiring the compensation of Jews from Arab countries and Iran to be included in any peace negotiations. "The Palestinians have been collecting evidence of their losses for many years," said Yoni Itzhak, a spokesman for the ministry. As of 2007, "the estimated value of Jewish property in Arab countries is 50% more than the value of the property of Palestinian refugees and is valued at billions of dollars." "Just like the Palestinians tell everyone that they have the keys to their old homes, we have our keys as well."

2010-07-29 09:37:10

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