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Legal opinion paves way for legalization of hundreds of settlement homes built on private Palestinian land

A legal opinion from the Defense Ministry paves the way for the legalization of hundreds of settlement homes built on private Palestinian land.

The new position of the Defense Ministry drafted by legal adviser Itai Ofir addresses the specific case of the settlement of Ofra where Israelis purchased homes in good faith from state authorities before it was discovered that the land belonged to private Palestinian land owners.

Ofir writes that it is possible to expropriate the land “in exchange for full compensation, if not more than that” to the original owners.

Ofir calls on Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to adopt the legal opinion, which would apply to several hundred homes in Ofra.

The precedent set in the brief could be applied to hundreds of additional homes throughout the West Bank that were found after the fact to have been constructed on private Palestinian land.

However, the legal opinion differentiates between such homes that are located in decades-old settlements and those located in illegal outposts to which recommendations would not apply.

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