The Jewish National Fund (JNF – Keren Kayemet) has agreed to hand over to the state 32,400 dunams of land in the center of the country, on which 141,000 apartments currently are located. As a result of the handover, the owners of those apartments will now be able to register them in their own names in the Land Registry (Tabu).
In return for that land, the JNF will receive an equal amount of land in the Negev. The deal comes as the result of a decision by the Israel Lands Administration three years ago to make arrangements for the resident owners of apartments in the center of the country whose homes were registered in the Land Registry in the name of the JNF, not their own name. Most of the “new” owners of the land on which their homes sit will be able to register their land for free; others, mostly owners of cottages and villas (connected and free-standing private homes respectively) will also be able to register land in their name for free.
Because most of the land in Israel has been under the administration of the JNF, which was appointed as the body charged with acquiring land for the use of Israelis, many Israelis do not own the land that their homes are built on, and instead lease it (for a period of 49 years) from the JNF. The system sometimes results in snafus, especially in cases where relatives or heirs vie for apartments or property and a chain of ownership needs to be established.
The JNF will be able to use the Negev land it receives to plant forests or establish new settlements – areas it specializes in, officials told TheMarker.