Demolition of illegal Palestinian structure
Demolition of illegal Palestinian structurePhoto: Civil Administration spokesperson

A report by the Civil Administration documented the efforts of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to take over land in Area C of Judea and Samaria with the assistance of the European Union (EU), Israel Hayom reported.

The document, entitled "Summary: Implementation of Settlement Procedures by the Palestinians in Area C", which was distributed in June 2017, states: "As of 2015, indications have been seen of the implementation of settlement procedures in Area C by the PA, with the central efforts being the Bethlehem and Hevron regions."

The report states that "this phenomenon is spread over thousands of dunams" and that it is seen "in the offices of the Land Registry Office to request various versions for their presentation to the Palestinian Authority as part of the settlement process."

The report further stated that this process is carried out "with funding from the European Union."

The authors of the document enumerated a number of problems and failures that may arise from the situation: "There is no Palestinian Authority in Area C," and therefore the situation misleads Palestinian Arabs and causes harm to individual rights.

Moreover, the PA does not take into account pre-existing records, and therefore the procedures of the arrangement "also include land declared as government property and managed" as well as land "registered in the name of private entities."

One of the primary reasons given for this phenomenon is that Israel created a vacuum when it halted land arrangement in Judea and Samaria since 1968. "Without a doubt, the suspension of the settlement process creates a difficult anomaly on the ground, leading the PA to promote unilateral steps."

The Regavim movement said in response: "In the past decade, the PA has been establishing a de facto Palestinian state by creating facts on the ground. For years we have been flooding the information we see on the ground, and now it turns out that the situation is far worse [than we thought]. The Civil Administration did nothing about it, and did not change its strategy on the issue in light of the audacity of the Palestinian Authority."

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories stated: "The Civil Administration is the authority authorized to exercise authority in the area of Area C, including land registration, subject to policy by the political echelon and in accordance with the law. Land registrations allegedly carried out by PA officials in Area C are completely illegal and the regional authorities do not recognize them."