Five Israeli homes in the community of Shaare Tikva, located in the Shomron region slightly east of Petach Tikva, were inadvertently built in an area allocated to the Palestinian Authority, an aerial study of the community shows. The PA has not yet laid a claim to the homes, but local officials, as well as Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, are demanding that the government act before a legal imbroglio develops.
“If this is correct, we are talking about negligence in the planning process, which has brought about an absurd situation, one of several I am familiar with,” said Dagan. “Shaare Tikv is part and parcel of the State of Israel, and we are demanding that this matter be resolved immediately.”
Yehudah and Shomron are divided into three administrative areas: Area C, which is under Israeli civilian and security control; Area A, which is run by the PA; and Area B, which the PA administers, but where Israel is in charge of security. The administrative system is part of the Oslo Accords, with Israel authorizing which communities and lands belong to which administrative areas.
It’s not clear how the homes in Shaare Tikva ended up in the wrong administrative area; the land the houses are built on is included in an authorized and approved regional development plan, which the owners of the homes relied on when they built their homes. The land is owned by the homeowners, but according to the aerial photos, that land is in Area B.
Commenting on the matter, the Civil Administration, which is responsible for approval of regional plans in Yehudah and Shomron, confirmed that the homes were located in an area assigned to Shaare Tikva in the 1980s, but that was apparently reclassified as part of Area B after the signing of the Oslo Accords. “Civil administrative affairs in Area B are in the hands of the PA.,” the Civil Administration said. The PA has not yet commented on the matter.