Palestinian Land Rights and International Law


Attempts by the United Nations and their surrogate NGO’s to politicly present Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. the West Bank) as illegal, and “colonial” in nature, completely ignores the complexity of the history of the land and disregards the legal precedents of this case.​​

By IDF News


Land registries from Ottoman and British Mandate times show that local Arabs in Palestine owned approximately 8% of the land area west of the Jordan River. The vast majority of the land was state land, which was not owned by any individual. The remaining 16% was split more or less evenly between Jewish landowners and groups and absentee Arab landlords who lived outside of Palestine (mostly in Cairo, Beirut, Damascus and Constantinople).

The vast majority of Arabs in Palestine either rented land from the state or from one of the absentee Arab landlords. In either case, the tenants had no claim of ownership than you would have on a home or piece of land you rented in any other country.

Over the years, between 1949 and the present, there have been around 15,000 settlements of Arab ownership claims in Israeli courts, mostly for small claims, often as little as a quarter of an acre (one dunam). These claims have been settled in one of three ways: 1) return of ownership; 2) granting an equivalent, agreed upon parcel of land as a replacement; or 3) financial compensation, determined by an independent assessor.


Much of the land owned by absentee Arab owners abroad has reverted to the status of state land after becoming forfeit when property taxes weren’t paid to the authorities for 20 years or more.

There have also been numerous cases of multiple claims on the same piece of land by different members of the same family or clan, cases where the decision of which claim is the most legitimate one must be made first.

When Jordan occupied the West Bank (May 1948-June 1967) illegally, it had no power to grant ownership.

Hussein bin Talal was King of Jordan, (1952-1999) and father of the current King of Jordan, King Abdullah II

As you can see, by 2017, the actual number of legitimate Palestinian claims to land are few and far between. For some reason, this doesn’t prevent the Palestinians from believing that ALL the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea should belong to them.


To read a comprehensive report on the legality of land appropriations for Israeli Settlements under International Law please read: Israeli Settlements and International Law


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In this Video, Professor Eugene Kontorovich articulates in detail, The Legal Case for Israel.