EfratFlash 90

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, with the help of Civil Administration officials, is expected to make it easier for the state and residents to cope with false land ownership claims by Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, the deputy minister explained the move to examine the truth of the claims of Kushans, or Ottoman-era land deeds.

"We come across many times in a situation where the state declares a place as survey land, as in the large community of Gevaot, which after the kidnapping of the youths decided to build a community west of Kfar Etzion, where thousands of housing units could be built. One Arab arrived with a Kushan claiming that the area belonged to him and delayed construction and planning for several years," Rabbi Ben Dahan said.

In Gevaot, the Arab claimed that he owned 15,00 dunams (3,700 acres) of land. But a lengthy investigation revealed that he owned only 400 dunams (100 acres). This drawn-out process is what the new program seeks to avoid.

"This process is cumbersome and problematic," Rabbi Ben Dahan said. "On this occasion, I also thank the head of the Civil Administration and the legal advisor for Judea and Samaria, Eyal Toledano, who worked hard to prepare an order establishing a quasi-judicial committee that would be authorized to decide quickly on the boundaries of the Kushan. This is something that will enable us to reject these false claims."

"Until now, there was nobody authorized to make a determination, and they would seek out surveyors and do all sorts of stunts. Today, there is a body whose decision is decisive and has an ability that was not in the past. I believe that this will lead to progress in dealing with several Kushans that exist in Efrat and in other places and delay settlement," said Rabbi Ben Dahan.