HCJ 7637/15, Jalud village council head v Commander of IDF forces in the West Bank

In 1978, the military commander issued seizure order T5/78, which authorized the military to seizure a huge section of land spanning over 1,700 dunams (420 acres) of private land right at the intersection between the villages Jalud, Duma and Qusra.

According to international law, military seizure is only permitted for imperative military needs. It does not constitute expropriation, and when there is no longer a military necessity, the land is supposed to be returned to its owners. The IDF built a military outpost (the “Jalud Camp”) on a tiny part of the land seized, but was not used for any additional purposes. The military outpost was removed at the beginning of the 2000s, and since then the land has not been used, except for the positioning of a communication facility, which barely spans one dunam (a quarter of an acre).

The first seizure order on the village land was issued before the High Court ruled in the Elon Moreh case and banning the practice common in the 1970s of seizing land for military needs to build Israeli settlements.

In May 2015, the heads of the villages addressed the military commander and attorney general, with the assistance of Yesh Din, to demand the seizure orders be revoked. They explained that 37 years had passed from the day the orders were issued, and since then the military necessity – as far as there was one, had expired. A month later, the attorney general announced the matter was being examined, but after four months there was still no response. As a result, the village heads were forced to petition the High Court to demand the seizure order be revoked.

The petition states: “However, instead of canceling the seizure orders, the respondents choose to continue occupying the land that was seized for military purposes, without any military justifications – and certainly not imperative and urgent military necessities – and to continue seizing that land.”

In an especially rare turn of events, in February 2016, the State announced it revoked the seizure order for 1,670 dunams (413 acres) prior to a hearing held in the matter in the High Court. The State however maintained the seizure order for 30 dunams (7 acres).

Yesh Din submitted its opposition to the part of the order that remained in tact. In its response the State notified that the area still served military purposes. As a result, it was decided to dismiss the petition.

Petition Status: Dismissed