Cemetery deal may lay old ghosts to rest

After decades of legal wrangling over its fate, the old Muslim cemetery in Jaffa may finally be left to rest in peace, reports www.local.co.il. The city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the Israel Lands Authority and the Muslim religious council in Jaffa have reached an apparent compromise agreement with the builders who own the cemetery, giving them building rights on adjoining land in return for leaving the cemetery alone. According to the report, trouble first began more than 30 years ago when a committee responsible for managing Muslim property in Jaffa allowed the cemetery to be sold to private entrepreneurs. A lengthy legal battle ensued, with the Muslim religious council fervently opposing the destruction of the cemetery. But now a compromise agreement has been hammered out, with the Israel Lands Authority reportedly agreeing to give the builders land it owns next to the cemetery, in return for their relinquishing their rights to the cemetery. The report said the deal still requires final approval from the ILA and then from the government before the specter of the cemetery can stop haunting the city's legal corridors.