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The Road to Dispossession: A case study - The outpost of Adei Ad

The Road to Dispossession: A case study - The outpost of Adei Ad

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Published by 972 Magazine
A Yesh Din report examines Israel's use of outposts as a means for seizing control of Palestinian land.
A Yesh Din report examines Israel's use of outposts as a means for seizing control of Palestinian land.

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Published by: 972 Magazine on Apr 18, 2013
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The original designation of public land (also called state land) is to serve for public needs, as

determined by the competent authorities, and primarily for the needs of the local population.

But in Areas C Israel created a policy that links land ownership to the national identity of

those permitted to use it. According to this policy, Palestinians are allowed to use private

Palestinian land, whereas any land that is not private Palestinian land is designated only

for the use of Israelis. This policy was created following the ruling in the Alon Moreh affair

that established that private Palestinian land is for Palestinian use, and that the Israeli

administration is permitted to take possession of it only for clear military needs. Even though

this was not stated in the verdict, Israel chose to interpret it and shape a policy by which

any land that is not private Palestinian land is designated only for the use of Israelis. In this

way the possibility of development on public lands was blocked to Palestinians. The Israeli

planning rights organization Bimkom, found there are very few exceptions to the policy of

allocating public land to Israelis only.157

Plia Albek158

herself wrote:

The use of government property, and primarily state land, does not have to be for the

use of the local public but to the contrary, for the use of the State that occupies the

territory […] The state land was designated to be transferred to Jewish settlements

since the Mandate.159

Besides land the State allocated to Israeli citizens only, usually through the Settlement

Division,160

Israeli citizens illegally seized additional land in the Adei Ad area, which had been

declared as public land but had not been allocated, and they are presently using it as if it

were their own. For example, on the morning of January 19, 2009, Abd al-Rahman Abu Alia,

a resident of the village of al-Mughayer, was informed that a tractor and a GMC vehicle had

been seen descending from the direction of Adei Ad to a plot of land near the Alon Highway

157 The Prohibited Zone: Israeli Planning Policy in the Palestinian Villages in Area C, Bimkom, June 2008, p. 27.

158 Plia Albek headed the Civilian Department of the State Prosecutor's Offce for 24 years (1977-1992) and is remembered

as the person who developed Israel's legal policy concerning land in the occupied territories.

159 Plia Albek "What is state land? State land in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip," Halishka (newsletter of the Israel Bar

Association, Jerusalem District Committee), Issue No. 46, January 1999, pp. 9-11. In: The Prohibited Zone: Israeli

Planning Policy in the Palestinian Villages in Area C, Bimkom, June 2008, p. 27.

160 There is a doubt as to the legal validity of the land allocations carried out by the Settlement Division in the Adei Ad area.

See pp. 46-53 of this report.

Adei Ad

Adei Ad

Private land

Road construction

0

0.25

0.125

km

67

Aerial Photo No. 8: Roads built in the area of Adei Ad, 1998-1999

Adei Ad

Adei Ad

Private land

Road construction

0

0.25

0.125

km

68

Aerial Photo No. 9: Roads built in the area of Adei Ad, 1998-2010

69

THE ROAD TO DISPOSSESSION

and close to the village of al-Mughayer. Later a number of Israeli civilians were seen beginning

to pave a road on state land in an area that belongs to the natural bloc of village land.

In many cases the Palestinian farmers are not even aware that a particular area has been

declared by Israel as public land, and that was true in the case of this area, which the

residents of al-Mughayer have seen as part of their village's land since time immemorial.

According to Abu Alia, when he approached and tried to find out what the Israeli civilians

were doing there, one of them pulled out a rifle, cocked it and aimed it at him and the other

people who were with him, including his three sons:

There were four settlers there, a digger, a tractor and a private car. One of the settlers

had a long rifle. When we approached he pulled out his rifle, cocked it and aimed it at

us. He told us (in Arabic) to stop. We asked him what he was doing on our land and

he said he was sent by the government, and that we could go file a complaint if we

wanted to…161

On March 17, 2009 the police investigation file was closed on grounds of "absence of

criminal culpability," without the suspects being investigated for carrying out work without a

permit. An appeal submitted by Yesh Din following the closure of the investigation file without

exhausting the investigation was rejected on the argument that since the land in question

was state land rather than private land, only administrative inspection and enforcement

procedures had been launched.162

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