Palestinian cave man fights 'eviction'

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2009
Follow Jessica on Twitter
The hills near Al Walajah, where Mr Abdel Fattah Abed Rabbo lives in a cave

The hills near Al Walajah, where Mr Abdel Fattah Abed Rabbo lives in a cave

A Palestinian man who lives in a cave near Jerusalem has been threatened with eviction by the Israeli authorities.

Abdel Fattah Abed Rabbo, 48, claims he was brought up in the cave as a child. Now he has moved back to the steep hills between Jerusalem and Bethlehem to stake his claim to his five acres in Al Walajah.

Mr Abed Rabbo’s family, including his ten children currently live in a refugee camp in Bethlehem.

Mr Abed Rabbo’s fight highlights the dispute between Israeli settlers and Palestinians, as the hillside where he lives has been earmarked for a new Israeli housing development.

He said: "The purpose is, of course, to build an Israeli settlement, called Givat Yael, which is to become the biggest settlement in the Jerusalem area.”

East Jerusalem city councillor Yakir Segev rejected claims that Mr Abed's cave would form part of a settlement.

He said: "First of all, it's not a settlement, it's a neighbourhood within the municipal borders of Jerusalem. And he was given court orders — not military orders. It's not a matter of political dispute or political argument as far as we are concerned.”

    Last updated: 5:18pm, November 11 2009