After a 22-year legal battle by Palestinians against efforts to annex their land in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in favor of settlers, Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom reported on November 28.
Israel’s high court gave the settlers the green light to takeover Palestinian lands near Gush Etzion
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) November 28, 2018
The legal argument of the settlers was based on the fact that in 1944 the Jewish National Fund purchased the land from a Christian Palestinian family before the Nakba and that the Palestinian family allegedly immigrated to Latin America. The lands were abandoned, the claim alleged, between the Nakba and the military occupation of West Bank in 1967. The Jewish National Fund claimed ownership of 130 acres as part of the Gush Etzion settlement block established in 1969 in the villages of Bethlehem in Palestinian territory.
In 1996, the Jewish National Fund requested the Israeli Civil Government, which has administrative control over the West Bank, to register its ownership of the land.
The Israeli Supreme Court ruled, on Wednesday, to grant ownership of Palestinian land, located near the illegal Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion, south of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, to the Jewish National Fund (JNF). pic.twitter.com/85Ty1CPwSL
— Palestine Live (@pallive_en) November 28, 2018
The legal battle has continued since then, when Palestinians have appealed against the claims of the settlers, submitting land ownership documents. In 2016 the District Court ruled in favor of settlers, Palestinians appealing against the decision to the Israeli Supreme Court. On November 28, this was rejected.
Most parts of the complex of Gush Etzion settlers are surrounded by the Separation Wall, which is surrounding the entire block.