Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Real Land Grab at Amona

From remarks delivered by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the situation in the West Bank, including settlements at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on November 22, 2016

The so-called regularisation bill, which passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset, would allow for the ex-post legalisation of Israeli outposts in the occupied West Bank. It would enable essentially the confiscation of the private property rights of Palestinian land owners in the West Bank for the benefit of settlers. This would mean crossing a new threshold, even under Israeli law, for the settlement enterprise in the West Bank. It would also mean the exact opposite of what the Quartet has called for, namely preserving the two-state solution.

Let's review that confiscation of the private property rights of Palestinian land owners bit.

In the Amona instance, despite the fact that the lands in question were distributed by an illegal occupying power, i.e., Jordan, with no real purchase proof, and despite the legal assertion by the Amona residents' lawyer that that was without legal foundation as regards actual "private" ownership, the High Court ignored that and asked the State Prosecutor's Office who agreed that the land in question was "privately-owned".

In a check, 7 out of the 9 plaintiffs "owned" land that was outside the Amona community. The two people - Maryam Hassan (מרים חסן עבד אלקרים חמאד) and Ibrahim Halil (אברהים חליל יעקוב גע'מה) - "owned" proportionally 2 dunams out of a total of...500 dunams in question. Hassan held proportionally 12 out of... 109 of 24 dunams and Halil held...80 out of 36,000 in an area of 36 dunams.  "Worse", they cannot pinpoint exactly where on the map those portions exist.

Out of 500 dunams, two are claimed but the owners know not where exactly the lands lie.

And what the Civil Administration did was not to define the proportionality of the land but to 'submerge' the 2 dunams into the 60 and then decide those 60 covered the entire soutern portion of Amona.

That's a land grab!

(based on a research article by Dr. Yehuda Yifrach in Makor Rishon, November 18, 2016 which was also published at NRG).


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