Necessary and constitutional


The new Judea and Samaria Settlement Regulation Law is necessary because large areas of the territories were never properly registered in land registries. Moreover, the properties listed in the Jordanian land registry were not properly surveyed, resulting in thousands of buildings being built on privately owned land.

Under Israeli law, if a person builds on someone else’s land unintentionally and in good faith, he or she may stay on the property as long as the landowner is properly compensated.

The new law has a similar provision because, under Palestinian law, selling land to Israelis is punishable by death, making it all but impossible to buy the rights to contested plots. The law is constitutional and is in line with Israeli values. It is as valid as the other property laws passed by the Knesset because Israel does not consider itself to be an occupying power in Judea and Samaria and it believes that giving Israelis the same rights as Palestinians advances the state’s vision.

The law serves a worthy purpose and protects the rights of those who built a home in good faith or with the state’s encouragement. It also serves a worthy purpose because it allows the residents to stay on the land if it lies near or in an already built community, rather than just theoretically allowing Palestinians to reclaim it.

The law strikes the right balance because it only allows the state to temporarily expropriate land and does not change the status of the landowners. In fact, thanks to the law, landowners who were previously unable to exercise rights on the land will now be eligible for compensation that exceeds the value of their property.

Is the law compatible with international law? I believe it is. Israel has never applied the Geneva Conventions to Judea and Samaria, and rightly so, because Israel cannot be an occupying power in land that the League of Nations designated for a Jewish national home. Moreover, Israel liberated the land from illegal Jordanian occupation.

Israel has upheld international humanitarian law in Judea and Samaria according to the Geneva Conventions and has even gone beyond what it is required to do. Thus, the Israelis who live there and are considered part of the local population should not be treated any differently from the Palestinian population.

It is time to end the discrimination against Israelis there when it comes to property law. International law allows residents to stay on land where they settled so long as this was done in good faith and that proper compensation is paid. That is why the provisions in the new law are not a form of confiscation that violate Article 46 of the Hague Convention.

The claim that the law allows the state to seize land even when this is not done for security reasons and in violation of the international norms Israel has accepted is not true. The legal definition of confiscation implies permanent confiscation, but the law speaks of temporary measures only. The issue of confiscation is only relevant when someone who has been using the land is suddenly denied access to it. Temporarily taking property from a Palestinian who has never had any hold on the land and has no way of exercising his rights on it cannot be considered confiscation.

On a side note, this is not the first time that the Knesset has passed legislation that applies to Judea and Samaria. Exercising Israeli law passes constitutional muster and is permitted under international law.

Yossi Fuchs is an attorney and the chairman of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel.

February 8, 2017 | 7 Comments » | 48 views

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7 Comments / 7 Comments

  1. This article presents the current state of affairs quite clearly. Why can’t we make sure that it is distributed much more widely. This seems to be a permanently recurring problem with the Israeli explanation of issues. The Palestinian screams of, “Palestine shall be free, from the river to the sea!” is seen and heard much more often than any Israel rejoinder.

  2. Couple of problems.
    Israel does not have a Constitution. The self elected courtiers conveniently defined certain parameters they selected for their support of privileges to some elements as Basic Law. Whatever that means.
    Israel does not have a judicial system which operates according to Laws voted and approved by Parliament. The said judges pick and choose which laws if any the will troop for.
    The so called judges that control that system are self elected.
    Otherwise it is a marvelous screwed up cesspool tailored to harm Jews and Jewish National interests.

    What could possibly go wrong…

  3. xxx

    Since the YESHA Arabs who actually HAVE “pseudo-genuine” title deeds, are few and far between, It should be made clear to THEM, as well as to the International Community, that those “deds” flowed from the Jordan King, during his illegal and internationally unrecognised invasion and occupation of Israel for 19 years between 1948 and 1967. Therefore they are null and void, and can not be used in a court of law to prove legal ownership.

    Israel, and/or/ Jews need not pay a single grush to the Arab swindlers, who up to now, are rarely if ever produced in person, being represented as unknown owners , by ant-Jew foreign-funded NGOS who assert that they exist. The abetting High Court, takes their UNSUPPORTED word for it and acts to destroy Jewish Homes and towns….. at least that’s how it howss from the reported facts in the news outlets.

    So it seems it’s the true situation, and until now, the government has been too cowardly and disunited to do anything about it. Let’s hope that all this has changed since Shaked and Jewish Home are now into it.

  4. xxx

    WHY is my comment “awaiting MODERATION’ all of a sudden. Ther is nothing in the post that is Lewd, racist, or anything else that cpuld be viewed as undesirable.

    Besides, the sitre stats that the content of a post is that only of the poster, and the site has no responsibility.

    So what the hell is going on again. Up to about 4-5 days ago, eveny single comment I made was ‘awaiting Moderstion” regardless if it had even a single word…everything…. including posts that I’d used edit to delete, leaving NOT A SINGLE WORD.

  5. Ther, cpuld, sitre, eveny, ‘Spell Check’ could be Mr Belman thinks you’re sending coded messages to p.a.
    hey eddy don’t get pissed off, life is to short, you could be making as many mistakes as an ISRAELI politician they start by getting out of bed (who’s?) in the morning.

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