Israeli AG seeks to freeze seizure of private Palestinian lands, but also allows settlement buildings to remain on these lands

Adalah, JLAC, Al Mezan: Freezing actions against settlement structures on private Palestinian lands allows continued violation of Palestinian property rights in West Bank.

In a response to a petition filed by Adalah and two partner organizations against the Settlement Regularization Law earlier in February 2017, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit moved on Monday, 7 August 2017, to secure an interim injunction that would freeze Israeli actions to expropriate private Palestinian lands for the use of settlements. However, in parallel, Mandelblit also seeks to freeze any action that would remove settlements already constructed on these lands.


The Settlement Regularization Law is intended to retroactively “legalize,” under Israeli law, settlements which have been built on private Palestinian land.


Seventeen Palestinian municipalities and three Palestinian human rights organizations from the West Bank, Israel, and Gaza Strip jointly petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court on 8 February 2017 to cancel the highly-controversial law on the grounds that it violates international humanitarian law and is unconstitutional.


The petition was filed by Attorneys Suhad Bishara and Myssana Morany of Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Attorney Shaheen Suleiman of the Jerusalem Legal Aid Center (JLAC) on behalf of the local Palestinian authorities (15 rural councils and two municipalities). The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza also joined the case as a petitioner.


Attorneys Bishara and Morany issued today a statement in response to Attorney General Mandelblit's move:


"While the attorney general is seeking an interim injunction freezing expropriation of private Palestinian lands in accordance with the Settlement Regularization Law he is also, in parallel, seeking to freeze all actions and orders against settlement evacuation from these private Palestinian lands. This allows a continued violation of Palestinian property rights in the West Bank. It is therefore only right that the Supreme Court issue an injunction that will prevent the application of the Settlement Regularization Law – including directives relating to the freezing of enforcement against current settlement construction as we previously asked."


CLICK HERE to read the attorney general's request [Hebrew]


CLICK HERE to read an English translation of the law