Saturday, March 11, 2006

Documents reveal Labor-Likud plans for West Bank

By Akiva Eldar

Highly confidential documents from the Ministry of Justice dating from the early 1990s, copies of which were sent to the ministers of defense, justice and housing as well as the attorney general, confirm the existence of a vast network of ties between Likud and Labor governments, and land dealers and settlers' associations, for the purpose of acquiring land in the West Bank.

The documents were presented to the High Court of Justice during the hearings for petitions submitted by residents of Bilin and the Peace Now organization against the construction of hundreds of apartments on village lands and against the route of the fence that bisects them.

In a highly confidential letter sent in November 1990 to the coordinator of activities in the territories, Plia Albeck, who was in charge of the civil department of the State Attorney's office, wrote that "because this area was apparently purchased by the Hakeren company, and it therefore hold the rights to this area and because it asked from the supervisor of government property to manage it, then this area is apparently government property," even though the senior representative of the Ministry of Justice is not convinced that Hakeren indeed purchased this land legally, and as proof thereof she inserts the word "apparently" twice, she permits the area to be declared "government property."

Albeck asks to maintain complete confidentiality claiming that the revelation of the deals may endanger the sellers' lives. It should be noted that one of the parties to this deal was land dealer Shmuel Einav, who's name was linked during Aryeh Deri's trial to a big land deal in the Har Shmuel neighborhood adjacent to Jerusalem, where Palestinian lands were obtained with the aid of falsified documents.


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