New Report Lessens Likelihood of Yehudah and Shomron Demolitions, Minister Says

A construction site in the city of Maalei Adumin, east of Yerushalayim. (Yaniv Nadav/Flash90)

A new report on the legal status of thousands of homes and dozens of neighborhoods in Yehudah and Shomron provides the government with the legal tools necessary to prevent further evictions of Jews and demolition of Jewish homes on lands claimed by Palestinians, the authors of the report said. The committee that prepared the report was attorney Dr. Chaya Zandberg, currently a district court judge and formerly director of civil affairs in the State Prosecutor’s Office.

The 200-plus page report was handed over to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit, who was a member of the committee before he was appointed to his new post.

The report discusses various tactics and strategies that could be utilized to prevent Palestinians from making claims on land on which homes in Jewish towns in Yehudah and Shomron were built, either in error or after the sale of land which Palestinians attempted to recant. Current High Court policy is to order the demolition of such homes even before the claims of Palestinian ownership are proven, but the report said that there are many precedents that could obviate that, all of which were approved by the Court in the past.

By utilizing these tactics, it would be possible to prevent the demolition of homes, the report said. According to the report, there are many such houses and even whole neighborhoods that fit these criteria, and are in danger of legal actions by Palestinians that could lead to demolition orders.

Shaked said that with the presentation of the report, “the era of the uprooting of settlements in Yehudah and Shomron for no purpose is at an end. Thanks to Jewish Home the committee has produced a report that has found legal methods to place all endangered homes and neighborhoods on the proper legal status to avoid their gratuitous demolition. The Zandberg report provides the proper legal tools, that are in accordance with Israeli and international law, to accomplish this,” Shaked said.