Photo Credit: Gili Yaari / Flash 90
The settlement of Yitzhar in Samaria.

The State this week informed the High Court of Justice for the first time ever that a Jewish settlement beyond the 1949 armistice line, a.k.a. the green line, is protected under the Land Regulation Act, Makor Rishon reported on Friday.

The settlement is the Tapuach West outpost, a neighborhood that has stood for 20 years near the Kfar Tapuach settlement close to Ariel in Samaria. The State’s response was delivered by the High Court Dept. in the State’s Prosecutor’s office, which had conducted a comprehensive inquiry into the status of the lands belonging to the neighborhood in question.

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The announcement was made as part of a hearing on a petition by the radical leftits group Yesh Din, which is seeking to uproot the neighborhood on the grounds that it is illegal.

According to NGO Monitor, In 2018, Yesh Din received 5.5 million shekel ($1.6 million) from the European Union, the United Kingdom, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Norwegian Refugee Council, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), HEKS (Switzerland), Norway, Ireland, Germany, and Oxfam Novib (Netherlands). Also according to NGO Monitor, Yesh Din received 35,190,090 shekel ($10.15 million) from foreign governmental bodies in 2012-2019.

So far, in the vast majority of similar, far-left petitions, the State Prosecutor’s office has argued that the lands being challenged may be culled under the Land Regulation Act, however, this time the High Court of justices ordered the State to conduct a comprehensive examination of the allegation, and it did so.

The investigators examined evidence and interviewed representatives of the local residents. At the conclusion of the prosecution’s examination, it was decided that the Land Regulation Act did apply in this case, and that the State considered the applicability of the law “and it concluded that the Regulation Law apparently applies to the area referred to by the ​​petition.”

An anonymous source in the Prosecutor’s office told Makor Rishon: “We don’t usually do the comprehensive tests in such cases, but when there’s a specific case that the court wants to get down to the depth of, it sends us to check. This was the first time such a decision has been made regarding residential land.”

The homes of these youngsters and their parents are protected by the Land Regulation Act.

The preference of the State Prosecutor’s office not to look more deeply into the applicability of the Land Regulation Act can be inferred in the language of its response to the High Court, which reads: “Even when it is possible to examine the apparent applicability of the Land Regulation Act in certain circumstances, the matter is not simple, and requires resource investment and legal decision-making. Therefore, it has been made clear that, as a rule, no examination of the provisions of the Land Regulation Act is carried out.”

Some legislators should look into that one… You work days and nights to write and then pass a law that should prevent the bulk of the problems regarding the legality of settlement lands, only to be ignored systematically by the employees of your government…

The 2017 Land Regulation Act aims to retroactively legalize Israeli settlements in Area C of Judea and Samaria, in order to protect between 2,000 and 4,000 homes in 16 settlements which were partly built on Arab-owned lands where, for a variety of reasons, including fraud, it turns up the original owners deny the sale of their land to the Jews. The new law provides the Arab claimants with either compensation worth 125% of the land’s value, or comparable state-owned land elsewhere.

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