Planning and Development | Land Allocation and Housing Assistance | Unrecognized Villages
The Arab minority in Israel has long suffered state discrimination in matters of land and planning rights. Dating back to the 1950 Absentees' Property Law, used to seize control of land owned by the Palestinian refugees forced to flee in 1948, Israel has used legal implements to marginalize Arab citizens. Since then, Israel has consistently employed a discriminatory land distribution policy. While over 1000 new Jewish communities have been established, not a single Arab settlement has been authorized. Jewish settlements in the Naqab are retroactively recognized, while Bedouin villages that pre-date Israel's independence are not – left without water, electricity, or infrastructure. Arab towns and villages are over-represented among the state's lowest socioeconomic tiers.
Adalah is actively challenging these laws from a range of angles across the country. Our legal advocacy efforts include, among others, petitioning the courts and planning committees against forced evictions and home demolitions in the Naqab; attacking the JNF for making land available only to Jews; challenging the state's refusal to recognize or provide services to Arab villages and neighborhoods; objecting to planning decisions which prioritize Jewish settlements over Arab ones; and seeking to overturn policies which discriminate against Arabs in the provision of mortgages and housing assistance.
A complete list of cases is available here. To filter by specific topics, use the links above:
Challenging ILA Policy of Tenders Open Only to Jews for Jewish National Fund Lands
Petition submitted in 10/04 against the Israel Lands Administration (ILA), the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Minister of Finance (MOF), demanding the cancellation of an ILA policy and a regulation promulgated by the MOF, permitting the marketing and allocation of JNF lands through bids open only to Jews. Adalah also requested an injunction ordering the ILA to freeze all open and imminent tenders for JNF lands and ban their lease pending a final decision on the petition. Under Israeli law the ILA manages "Israel's lands." Since 1948, large tracts of Arab-owned land have been confiscated or otherwise appropriated under law and taken into the possession of the state or Zionist institutions, such as the JNF, for exclusive use by Jews, bringing about state control of over 93% of the land in Israel. "Israel's lands" include land owned by the JNF. Of the 2.5 million dunams of land currently owned by the JNF (approximately 13% of the total land in Israel), close to two million dunams were transferred to it by the state in 1949 and 1953, giving the JNF special status under Israeli law. The JNF enjoys a huge influence over land distribution policy in Israel, nominating, for example, half of the members of the ILA Council. Although under Israeli law state-owned land cannot be sold, the JNF's special status enables the transfer of lands to it from the state. The ILA has acknowledged that tenders for JNF lands are only open to Jews, claiming that the agreement signed between the state and the JNF in 1961 obliges it to respect the objectives of the JNF, which include settling Jews on lands and properties within the Israeli government's jurisdiction.
Last Update: 24/01/2012