Grijalva press release


June 3, 2024

Press Contact:

Jason Johnson – (202) 225-2435

Rep. Grijalva Urges State Department to Prevent Confiscation of Palestinian Land and Further Violence in West Bank

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), joined by Reps. Jonathan Jackson (D-Ill.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), James McGovern (D-Mass.) Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.) , urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to engage with the Israeli authorities on the re-registration of the Nassar family property, The Tent of Nations, a 100-acre farm located outside Bethlehem. Since the State of Israel declared their farm as “state land” in 1991, the Nassar family have been subjected to what the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has called a “bureaucracy of violence” which has delayed the re-registration of their land as private property for 34 years.

The letter details the difficulties the family has encountered to re-register their farm and the issues they face at present:

“Since October 7th, The Nassar family have endured an increase in threatening actions by the Israeli military and settlers – a pattern of behavior that has been used in a variety of locations throughout the West Bank in attempts to drive Palestinian farmers off their land and to expand the Israeli settlements,” wrote the members of Congress. “These tactics include: additional large roadblocks denying access to the land from the main road, which makes it more difficult for the family to reach their farm; the creation of two outposts close to the Nassar’s farm; the installation of a watch tower with lights; the development of two new roads which if completed will reduce the amount of land the family can access safely; the imposition of a closed military zone which will be used to deny access to a parcel of land used primarily for agricultural purposes.”

“The ownership of the Nassar’s land is clear and well documented. The escalation of activity directed at their property by the military and settlers heightens the urgency for these delays to end and a just outcome for the family to be secured: that is, completion of the re-registration process recognizing their ownership of all their land, and their right to access and farm it. This is about more than one plot of land,” the members of Congress continued. “The protection of this farm will protect the Palestinian village of Nahalin – with some 9,000 inhabitants – which sits just to the west of the farm. We have grave concerns that should the Nassar land be confiscated it will further isolate Palestinians in the village of Nahalin and pave the way for increased settlement presence. This is a matter of the U.S.’ commitment to equal rights for all, and the rule of law.”

Read the full letter here.