“Illegal” Jewish “Mobile Homes” Fuel Ethnic, International Tensions in Bethlehem and Beyond


What Palestinian and Israeli sources are calling a “mobile home” or ‘mobile house” in the reporting that follows is more akin to what Americans in the factory-built housing industry would call a prefab home. That noted, tensions have flared this week and previously over such housing units are being placed near Bethlehem on land that is in dispute.

A few months ago, the Times of Israel said that “The coronavirus scare has generated a sense of panic throughout Bethlehem — the biblical town revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Streets have been empty since the first cases were announced last week, and the Church of the Nativity, built on the grotto where tradition says Christ was born, has been closed to the public.”


More recently, the Times of Israel said that “Some Israeli settlers agree with their Palestinian neighbors in the West Bank that the Jewish state’s plan to annex part of the territory would undermine their years-long reconciliation efforts.” It added that “US President Donald Trump’s controversial peace plan paves the way for Israel to annex parts of the West Bank, including all Jewish settlements.”

Israeli rabbi Shaul Judelman said, “It is not enough to oppose annexation. People from both societies must unite and propose something else.”

But it takes political leaders with courage to break the iron wall between our two societies,” stated the rabbi who had his head covered with a traditional skullcap.

We have a generation of Israelis who never met a Palestinian, but only saw a terrorist on TV, and a generation of Palestinians who only saw an Israeli soldier and this is what Israelis are to him,” Judelman said.

Judelman explained that the 1993 Oslo peace accords — which split the West Bank into three zones — created a divide between Israelis and Palestinians by saying “you are here and you are there.”

It cannot work because both peoples are connected to the entire land,” he said.

To see this map full sized, click here or on the image above.


The Palestinian news source Alresalah said that “As Israeli soldiers continued the uprooting and destruction of Palestinian trees owned by the villagers of Kisan, east of Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank, Israeli colonists starting installing mobile homes in the area to prepare for a new illegal outpost.”


The BBC said that “the Trump plan envisages the Palestinians having a state on 70% of the West Bank and a freeze on settlement expansion for four years in places outside of Israeli-annexed areas.” Mayor Oded Revivi says the Trump plan is a genuine attempt to resolve the conflict.

I thought it was a genuine attempt to try and think of another way to solve the conflict,” Revivi said.


Legal, political, and other challenges loom.

This controversy involving what they call “mobile homes” puts into perspective the fact that ‘land use’ and other rights are an issue in other parts of the world, not just in the U.S.

But on the West Bank, land use and often ancient and mutually exclusive claims to the land are part of why there has been decades of elusive efforts at obtaining a lasting agreement between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.

For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

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