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Knesset to Decide Fate of Disputed Communities

The Knesset will hold a special session Wednesday to discuss the fate of Jewish communities in biblical Israel challenged by PA claims.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/18/2012, 10:12 AM

Israeli families in Migron
Israeli families in Migron
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Knesset will meet Wednesday in a special session that some hope will save Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria that are challenged by Palestinian Authority Arab claims.

MK Danny Danon, deputy Knesset speaker, called the meeting with the support of more than 25 others. Danon hopes to pass a law that would protect most Jews living in biblical Israel from expulsion from their homes.

The law would provide an immediate solution for as many as 9,000 families.

“The Likud was elected to promote Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria,” said Danon. “We will pass a law that leaves no room for doubt – we will not allow the evacuation of settlements.”

Currently, Israelis who own homes in Judea and Samaria may find their ownership challenged at any point. Many communities in which Jewish families face eviction – among them Migron and the Ulpena neighborhood of Beit El – were standing for years before PA Arabs came and claimed ownership of the land, and demanded that the Jewish homes be destroyed.

Most PA claims have been filed with the help of far-left groups such as Peace Now.

Danon’s law would allow PA Arabs to make such claims within a certain window of time. After that time has passed, however, any person laying claim to the land would be entitled only to compensation, not to restoration of the land – and that only if they could prove their claims.

On Tuesday Likud ministers challenged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to give direct answers regarding disputed communities. Education Minister Gidon Saar warned Netanyahu that if he did not find a solution, and quickly, his party would force a solution by supporting Danon’s law.