Netanyahu: Approve Regulation Law

Government official: Netanyahu wants to pass Regulation Law this week.

Nitsan Keidar,

Binyamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett
Binyamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90

Prime Minister's Bureau Chief of Staff Yoav Horowitz told Ofra residents on Saturday night that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had ordered the Regulation Law to be passed in the coming week.

According to Horowitz, Netanyahu told Coalition Chairman David Bitan (Likud) to bring the law to the Knesset for its second and third readings in the coming week. Horowitz also said Netanyahu ordered an additional 68 housing units to be built in Ofra.

The Jewish Home party has threatened to take anti-coalition steps if the Regulation Law is not passed in the coming two weeks.

The Regulation Law passed its first reading in November, but has not been advanced since then because of worries over what former US President Barack Obama might do during his lame-duck period.

However, even after US President Donald Trump was sworn in on January 20, Netanyahu has not seemed to be interested in passing the law.

The current version of the Regulation Law would not legalize Amona or the nine houses in Ofra, because the courts have already ruled on them. However, it would legalize and protect thousands of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria which were built with government backing and no knowledge of the existence of absentee land owners, but against which there are now claims of property ownership.

Under the Regulation Law, the homes built on such properties will be allowed to remain, and owners with proven claims to the land will be given a choice of receiving an alternate plot of land or monetary compensation for 125% of their land's value.

Very few actual land owners have filed claims in the courts, with most of the suits filed by leftist organizations, as Israeli courts do not limit suits to those who have a direct connection to the issue in dispute. Jordanian land laws, which Israel allowed to remain binding in Judea and Samaria, do not allow for the fact that no property taxes have been paid on the lands since 1967 and that the owners have not used the land in any way, to affect ownership.

The Jewish Home party was consideration slight changes in the wording of the law to allow the Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to agree to be an active partner in its passing and implementation. However, no changes are expected to be made to the current version of the Regulation Law.