The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported today that Israeli farmers are using some 1500 dunums of land confiscated from three Palestinian villages to the north of Jerusalem, including lands that were confiscated in 1967 from the Palestinian village of Imwas.
An Israeli staff member at the Deportment of Civil Coordination, which coordinates Israeli activities in the West Bank, told Haaretz she learned about the issue of the private land at the end of her employment at the department nearly six years ago. When asked to comment on the situation, the Israeli army responded by saying, “We will look into the matter”.
Israel authorities handed this land over to the Israeli farmers in the 1980s, despite having no authority to hand over any land located within the 1967 boundaries.
Israeli government has let Israeli farmers (not just settlers) cultivate privately-owned Palestinian land since '80s https://t.co/rypgpOUz27
— Allyn Fisher-Ilan (@AFilan) October 12, 2016
Israeli farmers confirmed to Haaretz that they farm lands located within the 1967 boundaries.
The Palestinian owners of these lands confirmed that they still have the documents that prove their ownership to these lands, which are registered under their names in the Tabu department.
Israeli researcher, Dror Atkis, said, “There is no doubt that these lands are owned by Palestinians. Arial photographs show that Palestinians farmed these lands before the Israeli army demolished them. It is not clear how Israeli authorities took over these lands, but it is clear that they have no power to do so.”
(PC, SAMA, Haaretz)