Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories URL: http://poica.arij.org/showdetails.php?Article=5189
“Hiding Behind its Pseudo Democracy”
Israel Captures More than 40% from Palestinian Lands Using Twisted Methods
(Posted: 20/04/13)

 

 

Unfortunately, many countries see Israel as “the Democratic State of Israel”, neglecting the axiom that it’s the only occupying state in the recent history that repudiates the international legitimacy and international law rules.
 
In this report we will highlight the case of the Israeli seizure of the Palestinian lands under several pretexts and dispelling the Israeli delusive arguments concerning these confiscations:
 
On March 28, 2013, the daily Israeli newspaper “Haaretz” revealed in a report that what is so-called “Israeli Civil Administration” related to the Israeli Occupation Army had allocated 37% from the total West Bank area to the Israeli settlements, while less than 1% and specifically 0.7%, were allocated for the Palestinians as these lands classified according to the Israeli interpretation to the law as “State Lands”.
 
If we delve through these numbers mentioned in the report, we will find ourselves obligated to re-remind the Occupation State of Israel and the International community with decisive facts that intentionally ignored by Israel to fulfill its colonial and expansionist desire:
 
Confiscation by Declaring “State Land”
 
The Israeli divisions to what is so-called “State Land” are as follows: 634,920 dunums (11.2% from the total West Bank area) classified as “Registered State Lands”, where according to the Israeli equivocal interpretation to the laws, Israel consider itself the legitimate heir of the Jordanian State after its military occupation to the Palestinian lands in June 1967 which is absolutely erroneous.
 
The second Israeli classification is the “Declared State Land” with an area of 843,922 dunums (14.9% from the total West Bank area) declared state land after the year 1979, while the third type is what is called “Surveyed State Lands” which constitutes 11.7% from the West Bank with a total area of 666,327 dunums where the total area of lands classified by Israel as a “State Lands” are 2,145,169 dunums (37.8% from the West Bank area).
 
It is worth noted that 248,904 dunums (5% from the W.B area) from the total state land area located in area “A” and “B” according to Oslo II Interim Agreement signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation of Palestine (PLO), where the great part of these lands located in Hebron Governorate in the southern part of the W.B.
 
 
Map 1: the classification of the Israeli classified 'State Land'
 
 
Ways differ but the Goal is one and only ……. The Israeli Colonial Enterprise
 
From the first day of its occupation of the Palestinian land, Israel embarked to enactment of illegal and ambiguous laws in an attempt to legitimize its forcibly capturing the Palestinian lands in a deceptive democratic manner, while the fact is quite the opposite.  Actually, Israel moved steadily toward various types of confiscations to serve its colonial interests where the main types of land expropriation were as follows: Confiscation by declaring “State Land” using the ottoman land classifications (Waqf Mulk, Khuraj, Matrouk, Mawat, Miri lands), confiscation by declaring Abandoned land (not cultivated), confiscation by declaring military zones and for military purposes, confiscation for closed areas, confiscation for public use and confiscation by Absentee Property law of 1950 and its amendments.
 
On the ground, the Israeli authorities refer to each law for every single confiscation, which means that when the targeted land is cultivated, then they can’t declared it “state land”, but on the other hand they can implement the absentee property law for confiscation and that’s exactly what happened with the lands owned by the West Bankers and located inside the Israeli unilateral declared boundary of the city of Jerusalem. Moreover and when the targeted lands are rocky then it could be confiscated as “state land” while if the Palestinian owners of these lands succeed in proving their ownership to these lands, the Israeli authorities refers to an ottoman land law issued in the eighteenth century and specifically in the year 1858 in order to justify the confiscation where according to this law the state can confiscate the land if its owners didn’t cultivate the land for a period of three years.
 
We can easily realize that the intents behind the Israeli confiscations of the Palestinian lands throughout the years of occupation are not more than innovative tools to capture as much as possible from the Palestinian lands to sustain the Israeli Occupation where according to the aforementioned report published by “Haaretz” most of the lands confiscated as “state land” were allocated to the Israeli settlers and to the Israeli colonial enterprise on the Palestinian Territory and the examples are many: The settlement of Kiryat Arba’ in Hebron was built on lands expropriated as for military purposes and the settlement of Har Homa was built on a lands owned by residents from Bethlehem and Beit Sahour cities and confiscated in the year 1990 for “public use” by the former Israeli Finance minister (Isaac Mode’i) where these lands were classified as green areas before being confiscated. Another example is for the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim where most of the lands that the settlement was built on, confiscated as “state lands” before they were allocated to build the settlement. Also Giva’ot military base located in Gust Etzion settlement bloc west of Bethlehem Governorate, the Israeli government had recently approved a plan to build a new settlement with 523 housing units in the military base site.
 
According to these aforementioned examples we can realize that the confiscations conducted by Israel though out the years are not more than justifications to pounce on the Palestinian lands for the purpose of impose facts on the ground, in a tools , the Israeli occupation authorities believes that it were legitimate.
 
Axioms that need to be re-mentioned
  • The lands expropriated by Israel by declared “state lands” which constitutes about 38% from the W.B area are belong to the residents of the State of Palestine.
  • The expropriation of all land by Israel since the first day of its occupation of the Palestinian lands is illegal.
  • All confiscations conducted by Israel to build the illegal settlements and outposts are null and void.
  • All the lands confiscated by Israel under military and security pretexts or to build military bases and mainly in the Jordan Valley are lands confiscated forcibly by an occupying power.
  • The Israeli capturing of 88% from east Jerusalem (1.1% from the W.B area) for settlement or planning pretexts is an illegal confiscation.
  • The confiscation of 120 km2 (2.1% from W.B area) for constructing the security bypass pads (Israeli controlled roads) is illegitimate. 
  • The construction of the Israeli Segregation Wall which cuts off 733 km 2 (13% from the W.B settlement) to de-facto annex 107 illegal settlements to the Israeli side is illegitimate.
If we calculate the lands seized by Israel under various pretexts we can find that 37.8% did not include the lands confiscated to build the Segregation Wall and the Israeli bypass roads, and also significant part of private Palestinian lands used by Israel to build the illegal settlements are not included in the 37.8% where the area that confiscated by Israel exceeds 40%.
 
As a matter of fact, the Israeli seizing of the Palestinian lands under any of the pretext mentioned before, is a systematic Israeli circumvent over the international law rules and international legitimacy resolutions, where all of the confiscation orders issued by Israel are illegitimate and contradicts with the United Nation Security council Resolutions 242 and 338 that  stipulate the illegality of the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian lands and that includes all the confiscations, building illegal settlements and outposts and bypass roads,  constructing the Segregation Wall, destroying Palestinian properties and restricting their movement and all of the colonial practices conducted by Israel since June 4, 1967-present are illegal, null and void.
 
The International community must stand for its responsibility to obligate Israel to stop all of its expansionist and colonial projects in the Palestinian Territory, and to refrain from its attempts to legalize what is illegal, while instead of being innovative in confiscating the Palestinian properties, Israel must comply with the International law rules and conventions since “land for peace”, so if Israel wants to reach a peace settlement with Palestinians based on justice, legitimate rights and International legitimacy , then there would no need for Walls or checkpoints or even for fabrication of laws.
 
Meron Benvenisti Deputy Mayor of the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem (1971-1978), adviser on Arab affairs to former Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek,  remarks in an article “Lords of Land” for Meron Rapaport published on Haaretz newspaper on Jan, 20, 2005 states that: . The 'problem' of the Palestinian landowners is that this is good farmland, which cannot be declared state lands, as was done with the 'rocky' lands on which the settlements in the West Bank were built…. a trick had to be found by which to transfer the land to the state, and this was done by means of the Absentee Property Law….. 'The selectivity makes it despicable, draconian and even more terrible……. It's robbery.'