Israel Illegally confiscates Palestinian Lands in the West Bank under Israeli Land Acquisition law.

Israel Illegally confiscates Palestinian Lands in the West Bank under Israeli Land Acquisition law.


When the State of Israel came to live in 1948, more than 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed and more than 800,000 Palestinians coercively were driven into the longest Diaspora of modern history. The Israeli State at that time spread on 78% (21,000 Km2) of Mandate Palestine (27,000 Km2). The Arabs owned 93% of the land which came to be known as the State of Israel, of which 43% were privately owned (just over 9000 Km2) and the rest (10,500+ Km2) were identified at that time as 'Sultan's Land'. The remaining 7% of mandate Palestine (just under 1500 Km2) were owned by Jews. The Palestinian privately owned lands came under what is called 'the Custodian of Absentee Property' and the Sultan's lands became State land at the time the Israeli State was established. Today after decades of expropriation based on methodical and systematical planning with more than 36 prejudice and discriminatory Israeli tailored laws, the holdings of Palestinians living in Israel have diminished severely to almost 8% (730 Km2) of their holding back in 1947. During that time, Israel has always put into service four laws that helped the State to assume control nearly over most of Palestinian owned lands, these four laws are:

The Absentee Property Law (1950)

This law entitled the State of Israel to take control of the lands of the Palestinians turned refugees in Diaspora after the 1948 war, furthermore it allowed the Israeli Government to transfer all lands registered to public or any official body to the control of the Israeli State.

Land Ordinance: Acquisition for Public Purposes

This regulation originated in 1943 during the British Mandate era and adopted by the newly established Israeli State in 1953 to authorize the Israeli government to confiscate Palestinian's lands under the pretext of public purposes with minimal or no compensation.

Defense (Emergency) Regulation

Another regulation originated in 1945 during the British Mandate era and adopted by the newly established Israel State in 1949. It grant the military commanders in the occupied territories to declare any amount of areas as 'closed for military purposes' and thus prevent any person from entering or leaving these areas and in other cases to evacuate entire villages without offering an compensations.

Agricultural Settlement Law

This law originated in 1967, aims to prevent Israelis (Jewish) holding state lands leases from subleasing these lands to Palestinians.

The Israeli government fills legal gaps of 'Jerusalem Envelope'

On August 5, 2005, the former Israeli minister of finance issued three declarations for land acquisitions based on Land Ordinance: Acquisition for Public Purposes of 1943. The declaration included 215 Dunums of Palestinian lands (71 Dunums in Beit Jala & Bethlehem, 25 Dunums in Beit Sahour and 115 Dunums in Al-Ram, Qlandyia, Rafat and Al-Biereh), it also expressed willingness on the side of the Israeli minister of finance to conduct any negotiation to buy the targeted lands from its Palestinian owners or lease them. See Map of military orders

However, what the minister of finance would not say is that the Israeli Army and the Israeli government have disregarded the so-called democratic laws of the Israeli State when they started building the Segregation Wall on the outskirts of Jerusalem back in 2002 and 2003, which also falls within the areas annexed by Israel following the 1967 war to the illegal and unilaterally declared new boundary of Jerusalem. The annexation changed the lands status and made it under the jurisdiction of the Israeli civil law, however, when the Israeli Army commenced building the Segregation Wall south (Bethlehem district) and north (Ramallah district) of Jerusalem it had done so under military orders that also included parts of lands located within the illegal Israeli identified boundary of Jerusalem. This makes the land acquisition orders issued by the Israeli minister of finance much like a salvage to make up for legal breach that could constitute a legitimate cause to obstruct or even demolish section of the Segregation Wall built in Jerusalem or may threaten the Jerusalem Envelope scheme as a whole.

The acquisition order aim to alter the status of the lands where the Segregation Wall is built in Jerusalem from a temporary to permanent, which question the Israeli claims regarding the Segregation Wall being a temporary security measure, only to confirm Israel's colonization policy that aim to impose realities on the ground to isolate and Judaize Jerusalem prior to any final peace negotiations over the Holy City and thus deny the Palestinians their aspirations for an independent State with Jerusalem as its capital.



Prepared By  
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Military Orders