Gaza, Alray - The World Zionist Organization(WZO)has allocated to settlers in the Jordan Valley more than 5,000 dunams (1,235 acres) of private Palestinian land located east of the border fence, namely, between that fence and the actual border with the Kingdom of Jordan, Haaretz reported.
This area between the border fence and the actual border — the Jordan River — is a closed military zone that in some places is two kilometers wide. A military order prevents the Palestinian owners from accessing their lands in this area. On the other hand, Jewish settlers are allowed to farm the lands.
In January, Haaretz reported that under the aegis of this order, the WZO had allocated to settlers in the Jordan Valley over 5,000 dunams of private Palestinian lands. Following this report, the Israeli Civil Administration began to investigate how this situation had come about and how much land had been allocated in this manner.
Discussions have recently been held in the Civil Administration and in the office of the coordinator of Israeli government activities in the territories on this matter. It is a complex legal issue, because the settlers farming these lands were legally allocated the lands by the WZO. On the other hand, the lands also legally belong to their Palestinian owners. The coordinator of Israeli government activities in the territories, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, has instructed that all Palestinians who request compensation for the lands they cannot farm should be compensated by the Civil Administration.
A Civil Administration official has told Haaretz that the Civil Administration has no intention of initiating any action with regard to this matter. “If someone submits a petition to the Supreme Court in its capacity as the High Court of Justice, requesting that his lands be returned to him, we will have to decide what to do,” the official said