A new type of Land annexation

A new type of Land annexation



In February 2002, Yitzhak Etan, IDF Commander in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) issued military order number 02/02/C to seize Palestinian land southeast of Bethlehem district under the pretext of 'military purposes'. The issued order is to construct a new Israeli bypass road will connect the Israeli colonies located at the southeastern side of Bethlehem governorate with Jerusalem. The road, which extends 5.5 Km in length (an area of more than 830 dunums including security buffer zone) is being constructed on the expense of the agricultural lands in Beit Sahour, Bethlehem, Za'atra, Ras-El Wad, Tekoa, Al-Shwawreh and Al-Fourdis villages.

In May 20, 2004, Ya'ier Blumintel; Chief of Israeli Infrastructure Division issued a special order (the first of its kind in the OPT), which grants expropriation rights for the benefit of the Israeli Army under military order number 5/02/04 which comply with the Israeli Land Law. The acquisition order is a part of a series of Israeli military orders issued between the years 1967- 1969, Law # 321. Following is a summary of this Law as stated under Israeli Military Orders – 1967-1969, Numbered 1-364:

DATE: 28 March 1969

AMENDS: Law of Expropriation 2 (1953)
CANCELS: Military Order 108


LAW SUMMARY: Any appointment made or jurisdiction granted under this law by the Jordanian government or any of its institutions is to be transferred to the Israeli official-in-charge. These appointments are then to be cancelled. The Israeli official-in-charge may appoint someone else in their place. This order outlines the powers of objections committees with regard to issues of compensation for expropriated land; these committees are granted the final word concerning the estimation of levels of compensation.

The new order which compliments military order 02/02/C will extend in length for 2.5 Km (an area of 380 dunums including security buffer zone), making the overall length of the bypass road 8 Km (an area of 1200 Dunums) of expropriated agricultural Palestinian lands. The following is a translation of the Israeli order number 5/02/04:

Israeli Defense Army

Land Law Order (acquisition for public projects) (Judea & Samaria) (# 321) 5729-1969

Land Acquisition & Expropriation (Road) # 5/02/04

According to my jurisdiction and in accordance to item 2 regarding Land Law (acquisition for public purposes) (Judea & Samaria) (#321) 5729-1969 and according to article 4 (1) of Land Law (acquisition for public purposes) #2 of 1953 (as stated), and as I am convinced that the land acquisition (road) is for public interest and it is within the inquisitor ability to withstand all expenditures needed to compensate land and property owners and since there are grounds for immediate expropriation. I hereby decide

acquisition on the stated below lands and property according to item 4 (1) (B) of the acquisition law and to expropriate immediately the same listing according to item 12 (1) of acquisition law.   

Area of land approxemittly 380 Dunums (according to line established in the detailed map) # 928 published by the supreme development council to go into effect as of 26/03/2004 and located within the following village's lands:

1. Bethlehem; viscali block 9, Al-Bidiah area, Wad Hilweh, Eroujeh, Niloh tomb, Boqdis Alnokh.

2- Beit Sahour; viscali block 6, Katineh area.

3- Arab Al-Ta'amreh; viscali block 2, harmil area; viscali block 3, azia joufeh area, jabal Athim, Ma'awieh, Rfiedeh, Um Swalem, viscali block 6; albad hill area, viscali block 11; um deuiwk area, al-qarn.

All area marked with red in the acquisition map number 5/02/04 signed by myself and considered inseparable section of the order. 

The attached map of this order will be available for all concerned individual to look it over at the District Coordination Office (DCO) of Bethlehem District.  

 Ya'ier Blumintel
 Chief of Infrastructure Division  

 See copies of military order



See map of military order


In an unprecedented step, the Israeli Army issued a military order, the first of its kind, which revert the temporary seize order and replace it with an Expropriation order for the benefit of the Israeli Army. The 8 Km Za'tara bypass is intended to link the Israeli settlement bloc 'Toque' southeast of Bethlehem district with the Israeli settlement Har-Homa (Jabal Abu Ghniem) northeast of Bethlehem district. The road which is designated for Israeli settlers use will be off limit to the Palestinian population, the original owners of the expropriated lands on which the road is being constructed. The distinctive-prejudice of the Israeli laws with regard to road utilization exclude the pretext of 'public purposes' as it restricts the use of the road to the Israeli population and Army. Furthermore, the bypass road will eliminate the natural territorial expansion of the district, as it will disconnect the eastern rural areas from the urban center of Bethlehem district. Moreover, the bypass road will contribute to deepen the environmental degradation caused by the settlements and the bypass roads (approximately 1000 trees uprooted so far for the bypass road). Click to see pictures of events

February 2002



June 2002



October 2003



 Before and After


The segregation wall built by the Israeli Army in the occupied Palestinian West Bank territory under temporary seize orders may end up with similar expropriation orders once the construction of all the wall segments are completed.

The Palestinian lands (West Bank & Gaza) seized by the Israeli Army following the 1967 war recognized under the United Nations Security Council  resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 as occupied territories. The Israeli expropriation is illegal in reality since it originated to secure the Israeli settlers population whose existence in the occupied territories is illegal under article 40, paragraph 6 of the Fourth Geneva convention of 1949 and without taking into consideration the rights of the population under occupation as conceded in the previous.


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Prepared by:

The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem


Categories: Military Orders