Israeli Authorities Confirm Palestinians’ Right to Enter Land on Which the Former Settlement of Homesh Was Constructed

 The Attorney General has announced that the settlement of Homesh no longer appears on the list of Israeli settlements, and accordingly Palestinians are permitted to enter the area. The Attorney General reiterated that Israelis are not permitted to enter the area

Following a petition submitted by Yesh Din on behalf of landowners from the Palestinian village of Burqa, the Attorney General announced in a letter that has reached the offices of Yesh Din that the prohibition against Palestinians entering the area has been cancelled, and that Israeli citizens are prohibited to enter the area. The letter, sent on behalf of the Attorney General by the head of the Security and Criminal Desk, Major Udi Sagi, stated that “in the amendment, the name of the settlement of Homesh was omitted from the list of settlements stipulated in the addendum. Thereby the closure of the settlement to Palestinians was also cancelled…” (emphasis in the original).

In May 2013, the state announced the nullification of the seizure order for the land on which the settlement of Homesh was established. Despite this, however, and although the settlement was evacuated over eight years ago, the Closure Order for Jewish Settlements in Judea and Samaria, which prevents Palestinians from entering the areas of settlements, still applied in the area. Until now, this order prevented Palestinian landowners from returning legally to their land. Conversely, and despite a closed military zone order issued for the area immediately after its evacuation, large-scale events are held frequently in the area with the participation of official representatives of the state and the regional council. The letter mentions this subject and notes that “the area of the settlement remains closed to Israelis.”

Attorney Shlomy Zachary of the Yesh Din legal team commented on the letter: “Thirty-five years have passed since the land was usurped from its lawful owners, and we are now informed that they may lawfully return to their land. Regrettably, we are well aware of the regular and unlawful presence of Israelis in the area. Following the notification by the Attorney General, we hope that the law will now be enforced and Israelis present in the area will be removed, so that the Palestinian landowners may safely access their land and begin the work of rehabilitation.”

Further information about the legal Struggle over Burqa

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