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New military law expedites land grab in West Bank

Jerusalem24 – A new authorization by an Israeli military order will enable Palestinians in the West Bank to sell their lands to Israelis after getting inheritance orders from Sharia courts in Israel, bypassing the Palestinian Authority which outlaws such transactions.

“The Military commander of the central areas including the West Bank issued a military order last week, touching on a very sensitive topic, trying to get out of the ordinary procedure regarding the inheritance certificate of any person or family,”  Al-Haq Director General Shawan Jabarin tells Jerusalem24.

“We inherited this procedure from the Jordanian rule. The occupying power has no right to change any inheritance laws, except in two cases according to international law and Geneva Convention: if it is in the interest of the protected persons – which means the Palestinians, not the settlers – and the security of their troops.”

This is the first time Israel announces such a military order.

Jabarin explains the usual procedure to sell land: “Previously if you wanted to sell your land to anyone, you go through the procedure of identifying who inherited the land of the family – no one sells their land to anyone without proving it is his land. They have to go to Sharia court to get an inheritance certificate, the certificate includes all family members who own this land.”

“Israel wants people to turn to Israeli courts instead of the Sharia courts in the West Bank.”

Al-Haq is studying this matter, Jabarin says.

“It’s clear to us that they want to grab more land. Instead of confiscating it by military order as what they call “state land”, they want to add another venue for settlers to buy more land.”

Jabarin says they see this new procedure as “a real danger.”

He further states that the Israelis are trying to paralyze the PA’s own law. However, the PA “has already taken and has to take” more political, diplomatic, and legal steps.

“What is happening is a war crime. It is completely against international law principles, Israel has no right to act as a sovereign state in the occupied territories.”

“It is an occupying power, and the only things they can do according to the law since they are only administrators, has to be for the welfare of the civilians in the occupied territories, or the security of their troops – not for their settlers, or public order.”

Through this military order, Israel is expanding its jurisdiction in breach of international law.

Even if Israel declares itself sovereign over the West Bank, says Jabarin, “no one will take it in in the international community.”

Find out more about the new military law by listening to the full interview on Wake Up Palestine.

Nadeen Alshaer

Alshaer is a Palestinian journalist, a Birzeit University graduate with a B.A. in TV and Radio Broadcasting Journalism. Alshaer has 5+ years of experience in journalism. She currently works as a reporter, editor and presenter/producer for PBC-Palestine TV and Jerusalem24 radio. She’s a UN and Kelley School of Business alumna.

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