Brigadier General Ghassan Alian, Commander of the IDF’s Civil Administration, said at a hearing in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Palestinian Authority (PA) employs hundreds of people to register real estate in Judea and Samaria – including in areas under full Israeli control, while the Civil Administration has only about 20 people dealing with this issue.
Alian’s shocking remarks were made in the context of this morning’s (Monday) Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcommittee hearing, chaired by MK Gideon Saar. The hearing, initiated by MKs Uzi Dayan, Moshe Arbel, Yitzhak Pindros and Bezalel Smotrich, examined the renewal of land registration and regulation procedures in Judea and Samaria.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, MK Zvi Hauser, who participated in the hearing, reacted sharply, “This is the what the State of Israel has to show for itself, although for years it has talked about the ‘battle for Area C’ but in practice only a few people are assigned to this issue – despite the fact that the Palestinian Authority has been in a race to seize control and register territory, and some 600 people are employed to do so.”
Meir Deutsch, Director General of the Regavim Movement, who participated in the hearing, says that the data provided by the Civil Administration reflect that the Israeli government’s operational, organizational and moral bankruptcy.
“Land regulation and registration is a complex process that is the responsibility of the sovereign. Aside from the fact that the Palestinian Authority is treating Area C as its own sovereign territory – and there has been no Israeli response to speak of – the shameful inaction of the Israeli government to carry out land registration in Judea and Samaria is a moral failure. In essence, the government is making a statement through this inaction that it is not the sovereign in the area,” Deutsch said.
In 2019, Regavim exposed an internal Civil Administration document that outlined illegal Palestinian Authority land registration activity in Area C of Judea and Samaria, the portion of Judea and Samaria placed under full Israeli jurisdiction under the Oslo Accords.
According to this Civil Administration report, Palestinian Authority land registry efforts date back to at least 2015, and includes ownership inspection procedures, registration of purported ownership of the land in its official land registry, and parcellation of territorial blocks and individual plots of land – including property within the municipal boundaries of Jewish communities.
A report released in June 2017 exposed that “this is a phenomenon spread over thousands of dunams” and that the process “is led by the Palestinian Ministry of Justice and in particular by the Palestinian Land Authority, under the management of Nadim al-Brahami, with funding provided by various European countries.”