'The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee is set to support a bill that authorizes the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division to allocate lands for Jewish “rural settlement” in the West Bank.
Such a step would legitimize actions taken by the organization in the past which had been criticized by Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber.
The bill calls for the director of the government’s Custodian’s Office – which is authorized to manage government and abandoned property in the territories – to allocate these lands to the Settlement Division, to manage according to standards in keeping with practices of the Israel Lands Authority. It says that management of such land would have to fall “in line with the circumstances” but does not elaborate.
The WZO Settlement Division has long served as the government’s executive arm for rural settlement in the territories, funded through the state budget. The legislation on the table would formalize the division's status as a lands administrator and its task of serving as an indirect manager of the lands of most relatively small settlements and those deemed as “rural in nature” that are neither cities nor local councils. Under usual procedure, the state allocates the lands to the division, which in turn allocates them to cooperative associations responsible for the management of settlements. The associations, in turn, allocate land to their members.'
Read more: Far Right Israeli Regime Pushes Bill for World Zionist Organization to Manage Land in the West Bank
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