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Israel plans to legalize settlements built on private Palestinian land

Israeli authorities declared intention to retroactively legalize settlement buildings built in part on private Palestinian land in the West Bank settlement of Alei Zahav, legally established in Deir Ballut and Kafr al-Dik villages in the northern West Bank district of Salfit, Israeli media sources reported Monday.

According to Haaretz Hebrew newspaper, a mechanism, approved in December, has allowed to retroactively authorize illegal construction on private Palestinian land if the land was allotted “in good faith” if Israel incorrectly believed that the lands belonged to it at the time of its allotment.

The land on which settlement unit are built in Alei Zahav was considered state land, according to the old maps. However, the Civil Administration team discovered in 2016 that land on which some buildings were built was actually private Palestinian land.

According to the new mechanism,  2,000 settlement units will be legalized in areas considered to contain “illegally built structures.”