Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) has nixed plans to allow Israeli Jews to purchase land in Judea and Samaria as individuals, Ha’aretz reported Monday morning.
According to the report, Gantz informed the Supreme Court last week that he cancelled an initiative proposed by the Defense Ministry which would have enabled Israeli Jews to make private purchases of land in Judea and Samaria, dropping the restrictions on such purchases.
Under current regulations, only Jordanian citizens, residents of the Palestinian Authority, and foreign nationals of Arab extraction can make direct purchases of land in Judea and Samaria as individuals.
Jews are barred from making individual land purchases in Judea and Samaria, though they are allowed to buy land from the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration, as well as from incorporated groups, which are permitted to purchase land from Arabs in Judea and Samaria.
The regulation is based on Jordanian law, which the IDF adopted in 1971.
The move prompted the formation of Jewish settlement groups to purchase land in Judea and Samaria, including ‘Amana’.
The Defense Ministry had planned to drop the regulation, a step which would have enabled more Jewish purchases of land in Judea and Samaria, likely expanding the scope of Jewish settlement in the area.
But according to a Defense Ministry source cited by Monday’s report, Gantz nixed the plan, fearing it would lead to increased “friction” between Israelis and Palestinian Authority residents.
“So long as the law is in place and purchases of land in Judea and Samaria area restricted to companies which we recognize and we have ties with, the Ministry can handle this. But opening land purchases to every private Jewish citizen would be irresponsible and would be a finger in the eye of the Palestinian Authority.”