New Settlement – Embassy Explains

September 3, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Israel’s embassy in New Zealand has released the details behind the recent declaration of the establishment of a new settlement.


1. On 25 August 2014, approximately 1.5 square miles (less than 1,000 square acres) of land located in the Gush Etzion bloc of Israeli communities was declared to be ‘state land.’

The land is located in Area C of the West Bank which according to Israeli-Palestinian agreements is under full Israel control. There are no substantiated claims of  ownership of this land, by either Palestinians or Israelis, and the land has not been cultivated. Moreover, in any future peace settlement, Gush Etzion will be under Israeli sovereignty.

2. The determination of the status of this land adhered to the standard legal procedures regarding land registration in the West Bank. The process was undertaken in accordance with the applicable laws for determining land ownership when ownership is unknown. These long-standing laws have their roots in the Ottoman legal system, which dates back over a hundred years.

3. The process for determination of ownership is a lengthy one that typically takes a number of years, during which all aspects of ownership rights are surveyed by the Civil Administration. Already during the British Mandate, which ended in 1948, efforts were made to begin to identify the ownership of properties in this area in accordance with the aforementioned laws.

In the case at hand, Israel commenced the determination process close to a decade ago (years before recent events, including the kidnapping of the three Israeli  teenagers).

4. At any point during the process a claimant may submit an appeal to the Civil Administration by presenting documents substantiating ownership. If, at the end of the process no owner is identified, the land is declared ‘state land.’  As an additional legal safeguard, all declarations of land as ‘state land’ must be authorized by Israel’s Attorney General.

As with any legal or administrative procedure in Israel, the determination of state land is subject to Israeli judicial review, and can ultimately be appealed to the Supreme Court.



2 Responses to “New Settlement – Embassy Explains”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    He could’ve worked through the Embassy instead of working through the media, anything to cause controversy.

  2. Sally says:

    It is a pity this was not published in the media at the same time as the news of the ‘new settlement’, which has been giving the impression that it is on land taken from the Palestinians.

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