Palestinians face further expulsion attempts under JNF plan

Jewish National Fund plan could see further expulsions of Palestinians from West Bank home
2 min read
05 August, 2021
The JNF, which was established in 1901 to purchase land for Jewish settlements, claims to hold documents relating to at least 360 West Bank Palestinian properties.
The JNF says it has documentation relating to hundreds of properties in the West Bank [Getty]

Palestinians could face expulsion from their homes in the occupied West Bank under a new property registration initiative by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), set to be approved on Thursday.

The initiative involves a review of properties allegedly purchased by the JNF since 1948, but records of the purchases were not registered with the Israeli government and are substantiated only by documents held by the JNF and its affiliates.

The group's board of directors will meet on Thursday to approve the plan, which involves some 17,000 unregistered property assets in Israel and the West Bank, according to Haaretz.

Documentation held by the JNF and its subsidiaries includes contracts allegedly attesting to purchases, documentation of unfinished negotiations, and files relating to properties of uncertain whereabouts.

The JNF, which was established in 1901 to purchase land for Jewish settlers to historic Palestine, claims to hold documentation relating to at least 360 properties in the occupied West Bank, and says it has proof of ownership for 170 assets.

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If approved, the five-year plan could see further expulsion attempts in the West Bank, similar to those seen in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

The JNF claims Palestinians living in properties are "squatters", according to Haaretz, despite them having living there for generations and with Israeli claimaints have no links to the lands.

Israel's attempted expulsions of Palestinians in the West Bank were met with fierce resistance this year, drawing global attention and condemnation.

Israel's Supreme Court earlier this week presented Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah with a "compromise" solution that would see the four Palestinian families affected by the case being given "protected tenants" status. This would mean they could remain in their homes for now but would effectively have to acknowledge the settlers' claims to the land.

The proposal is reportedly part of Israel's attempt to come up with a swift solution to the matter, which has increased international scrutiny of its illegal occupation of Palestinian land.