April 15, 2024
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Israel “Recognizes” 4000 Dunams as State Lands

In the midst of the threats from outside of the State of Israel, on Sunday, that Israel “recognized” 4,000 dunam (988 acres) in Gush Etzion as state land, encompassing the Giva’ot settlement in the West Bank. Giva’ot is considered a neighborhood in the settlement Alon Shvut, but operates as a separate community according to Ynet. “The IDF said there was no Palestinian claim on the area in question, but those against the decision could file their objections within 45 days.”

Later reports by Haaretz said that there are local Palestinians who are claiming ownership of the land. Giva’ot had been built without zoning permits and so had not been officially recognized by Israel. In order to start the process of declaring it a recognized community, the state had to delineate the boundaries of the community.

It was explained that territories in the West Bank are either private land (state registered ownership) state land (undeveloped and not listed with the Israel Land Authority, considered state-owned) and lands under survey “admot seker” which had reverted to the state because of lack of use for 10 years and lack of registered ownership, but is in limbo until actually declared as state land.

Nevertheless the Israel Times reported that Hatnuah party member, Tzip Livni, Israel’s Minister of Justice, warned that as a result of the decision, past Israeli settlement activity in the Etzion Bloc may come under renewed scrutiny, subsequently leading to widespread de-legitimization of the area’s existing settlements. Speaking on Palestine TV, Palestinian land expert Khalil Tawfaqji said that if the area is indeed state land, the UN-recognized state of Palestine should be the party to claim it and not the Israeli occupiers.

Claiming the land has also been looked at as stabbing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the back and subsequently has weakened his position in pushing for a permanent cease fire as well as attempting to include Hamas in his government to bring about a two-state solution. His spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh said,” This decision will lead to more instability. This will only inflame the situation after the war in Gaza.”

The Jerusalem Post reports that Gaza cease-fire negotiations are to commence this week and conclude within a month with a new agreement involving the possibility of an airport and seaport in Gaza, yet no confirmation of this has come from Hamas. Al Monitor reported that Hanan Ashrawi, a PLO executive committee member, and known anti-Jewish and Israeli propagandist, called the Israeli actions a sure path to war, saying, “Today’s announcement clearly represents Israel’s deliberate intent to wipe out any Palestinian presence on the land and to willfully impose a de facto one-state solution.”

By Anne Pinzow

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