After a marathon session, the Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee approved the Regulation Law on Wednesday morning, paving the way for the second and third readings in the Knesset next week. The Regulation Law, crafted in response to demolition orders issued by the Supreme Court against the town of Amona in Samaria, would protect communities over the Green Line from ex post facto claims of ownership on their land by absentee landlords. If passed, the Regulation Law would allow verified owners claiming property rights to be compensated at 125% of the value of the real estate prior to the improvements created by the towns in question.
Sources close to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked indicated that the Ministry is working on adapting the Cyprus model to Israel in order to resolve the issues of Palestinian land ownership claims throughout Judea and Samaria, including Amona. The invitation of a renowned international jurist to participate in the formulation of the plan is expected to help deal with the expected response from Europe to the plan. According to the plan, an arbitration committee will be appointed to decide on issues of land belonging to private owners and whether and how much compensation to give in these cases.
On Wednesday, the Knesset approved a preliminary reading of the Regulation Law seeking to normalize the status of Judea and Samaria communities and protect them from future legal entanglements.
According to the proposed bill, if nobody can prove ownership over such contested plots, they are to be listed under the name of the appointee over government property in Judea and Samaria. On the other hand, if one can prove ownership, the land will be confiscated and transferred to the government appointee, and the man who proved ownership will be eligible to use the land or an alternative plot. The confiscation will be in force until which time the State decides on the status of the area and the Jewish settlement within it. Further, until the end of proceedings, enforcement will be suspended with respect to structures in those communities.