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Israel snatches Palestinian hotel for ‘security reasons’: owner

Cliff Hotel is located in Abu Dis, East of Jerusalem; however its location makes it an absentee property according to Israeli law.

Ali Ayyad lives 300 meters away from the property owned by his family which considers them to be living outside the borders of Jerusalem according to Israeli maps.

Ayyad says Israeli authorities annexed the hotel to its territories.

“In August 2003, they said it [Cliff Hotel] is absentee property. We went to court and there they said that even if it proves not to be absentee property, it will be annexed for security reasons,” said Ali Ayyad.

The hotel is located on a hill that overlooks large swathes of the town and its vicinities as well as al-Aqsa Mosque.

“This area overlooks Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque and is very touristic. It was called ‘Cliff’ because it is located on a hill,” said Khaled Ayyad, one of the owners.

Bassam Sahar, Cliff Hotel lawyer says Israel plans to expand their settlements in Jerusalem.

“The main purpose in this case is to get hold of a building in the path of the Separation Wall. This will deprive a lot of people in the area from connecting with their relatives,” Sahar said.

The Ayyad family has been following up the case of Cliff Hotel for more than ten years. They say they want to keep the house turned hotel their father had built.

Israel has confiscated several properties in the Jerusalem area and its surroundings.