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May 25, 2010

Eldar Admits: Not Private Palestinian Land After All

Akiva Eldar El Matan.JPG

Days after Ha'aretz's Amira Hass acknowledged that she printed misinformation supplied by her Palestinian source, her colleague Akiva Eldar admits that he was wrong on so-called Palestinian private land. He writes today:

In a column on June 6, 2009, I wrote that work in the vicinity of El Matan was being carried out on private land belonging to the village of Tulat. I want to clarify that the work is being done on state land that is under the jurisdiction of the settlement of Ma'aleh Shomron. It was not my intention to claim that the synagogue there was built on private land belonging to any particular resident of the village of Tulat, and it was certainly not my intention to harm the inhabitants of El Matan.

The term "state land" refers to approximately 1 million dunams that the state has expropriated in the West Bank under a law dating from Ottoman times. A large part of this land was earmarked for building settlements exclusively for Jews.

It is pretty safe to assume, given Ha'aretz's repeated refusals to correct factual errors, that this acknowledgment of error came as a result of legal action. (It is also worth nothing that besides the June 2009 article, Eldar had earlier written about allegedly private Palestinian land in the area of Tulat and El Matan back in September 2006.)

Other settlements built on so-called private Palestinian land, which later turned out to be either state land or privately owned Jewish land, include Ma'aleh Adumim and Revava.

Posted by TS at May 25, 2010 06:06 AM


I think the key in the "State Land" is that the land was appropriated under an old ottoman law. The law being referred to is that the land has been abandoned, not being used for 50 plus years for any purpose. However, which state does it revert back to when the occupation is over? And, why wasn't it used? Area C land is restricted by the Civil Administration and by neighboring settler intimidation. It's an interesting state of affairs.

Posted by: Singer at May 25, 2010 02:36 PM

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