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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

'Peace Now' helping to legalize construction in Judea and Samaria

A series of petitions filed by 'Peace Now' in a bid to force the government to evict revenants from homes built on state-owned land in Judea and Samaria is having precisely the opposite effect. Forced to choose between destroying the homes and legalizing them, the government is choosing legalization. This is from a lengthy JPost piece about Shilo, which is in Samaria.
According to [State's Attorney] Sylvetsky, the state’s move to legalize housing construction in Shiloh is part of a trend that has developed over the past yearand- a-half in reaction to petitions like this one, filed against building on state (public) lands in the West Bank.

The petitions have given the state the impetus to legalize settlement construction on state lands, which lacks the necessary permits.

The land is considered public and there are no Palestinian private land claims against it, Sylvetsky says, because the High Court has forced the state to give an answer about the land.

“Peace Now’s petitions have been having the opposite affect to that intended,” he added. “In several places, the state has legalized construction because of petitions, whereas if the settlers themselves had asked for legalization it would never have happened.”

Sylvetsky pointed to legalizations that have taken place in the Eli settlement and the Shevut Rachel outpost, where he says petitions were filed against construction carried out without the necessary building permits.

In some cases, such as in Shevut Rachel, the state itself authorized the construction and sale of houses.

“The state was forced to either correct its mistakes by legalizing construction, or destroy the houses,” Sylvetsky said.

The state can legalize the houses because they are built not on private Palestinian land but on so-called “state lands,” land considered public property under Ottoman law.

According to that law, which was in force when Israel took the area from Jordan in 1967, land in the West Bank is considered state land unless an individual has occupied, cultivated and paid taxes on it for at least 10 years.

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At 2:40 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I'm sure it wasn't Yariv Openheimer's intention. But it will probably lead to a similar solution for Migron well in advance of next year's Israel Supreme Court ordered demolition.



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