Israeli supreme court rules settlement ownership of a 500-dunum land in West Bank

PNN/ Hebron/

The Israeli Supreme Court issued a ruling on the ownership of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) of more than 500 dunums of Palestinian land in the Gush Etzion settlement area, south of Bethlehem, Israel Hayom newspaper reported.

The newspaper said the judges of the Israeli Supreme Court rejected this week an appeal filed by Palestinians against a previous decision by the Central Court in Jerusalem stating that the ownership of the land by the JNF.

The new ruling enables settlers to start work on confiscated land and build hundreds of settlement units there.

The land area is 522 dunums, and the settlement of Rosh Tzurim and the settlement council offices of Gush Etzion settlement south of Bethlehem in the south of the West Bank.

The Jewish National Fund claims to have purchased the land in 1944 through a settlement company called Himnota, from a Palestinian family that migrated to South America. In 1996, the settlement company claimed registration of the land ownership by the Israeli civil administration, when Palestinian citizens said the land belonged to them and filed a lawsuit against the settlement company.

In 2016, the Israeli Central Court in Jerusalem said the Palestinian documents proving ownership of the land were fake, and that the settlement company is the owner of the land.

It is noteworthy that the Jewish National Fund is a Zionist organization founded in 1901 to raise money from Jews to purchase land in Palestine, establish Jewish colonies there and continue to work in Palestine under the British Mandate. After the establishment of Israel in 1948, the Jewish National Fund expanded its activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip In 1967.