Since a 1979 High Court ruling that prohibited the requisition of private Palestinian land to build civilian settlements, the settlement enterprise has been based on the use of state land. Following the court’s ruling in the Elon Moreh case, and in line with policies of building settlements throughout the West Bank, the State of Israel declared more than 900,000 dunams as state land. This B’Tselem report finds that Israel’s application of its declarations policy was unlawful, since it classified some land as government property even though, under local law, it was private Palestinian property.
B’TSELEM – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. It endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.