The headache of 150 acres that Moshe Dayan gave to Palestinians


An internal document confirmed that in the 1970s, Moshe Dayan gave verbal approval for 2 Palestinians to work 600 dunams of land near Highway 90 in the Jordan Valley.

By Elisha Ben Kimon


An internal document of the Civil Administration confirmed that former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan allowed two Palestinians to control land in the Jordan valley, despite them not having legal ownership over the land.

Moshe Dayan (Photo: gettyimages) (Photo: gettyimages)

The story was revealed a year ago when David Elhayani, the head of the Jordan Valley Council, warned the Civil Administration that Palestinians had entered state land that is under the jurisdiction of the municipality and tried to plant a palm grove.

The land is approximately 150 acres and north of Argaman, near Highway 90. Palestinians began working the land only a year-and-a-half ago.

Following the revelations, Israeli NGO Regavim— which pursues legal action against any construction lacking Israeli permits—in cooperation with the Jordan Valley Council, submitted a request to the Civil Administration to clarify the matter. In response to the request, the Civil Administration noted that the Palestinians have permission to work the land due to Dayan’s verbal approval and even said that the approval had noted in an official document.

The Civil Administration’s response illustrates the legal and political difficulties associated with this issue. “On one hand, we have two Palestinians who are not the legal owners of the land and hold no land purchase or lease document, but on the other hand, we have actual documents indicating that they were given assurances from the Jordanian government which were later approved by then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. In light of these facts, the Civil Administration is examining the legal implications involved in the matter.”

A representative from Regavim responded by describing the affair as an illegal takeover. “It is absurd that the Civil Administration is allowing this matter to continue based on the ridiculous claim that Moshe Dayan gave his permission. This claim is not backed by any official document and even if it were true, it was done without any authority that will withstand any legal review.”


View original Ynet publication at:,7340,L-4853067,00.html