Gvaot declaration.State Land in the Etzion bloc .


The facts on the Gvaot declaration case.

Regavim 2 Tiny

Following the decision of the Civil Administration to declare the end of the survey process for the area called Gvaot, Regavim has prepared the following fact sheet for your information:



The area of the land is 1.46mi2 (990 acres, 380 Hectares, 3799 dunams)



Nobody lives on this land, neither Palestinian Arabs nor Israeli’s.



This land has been classed as public land since before 1948



In 1967 all public lands including this piece in the West Bank came

under Israeli control. As an extra precaution, to ensure the protection of

private property rights, the authorities put in place an additional process

to double and triple check that no private land was mistakenly included.


This process of investigation and final declaration is what the

government announced recently. The declaration does not change the

status of the land



The land is situated in the Eztion bloc which is acknowledged and widely

accepted to be included on the Israeli side of a future land swap in any

negotiated peace agreement.



The land straddles the 1949 Armistice lines and is in Area C under full

Israeli administration and security control based on 1993 Oslo Accords.



Pre-1948 there were Jewish communities in the Etzion bloc that were

destroyed by the Jordanian Arab Legion and Egyptian Army in Israel’s

Independence War.



As a general rule in Western countries there is either public land or

private land. Thus the concept of ownerless land is not familiar. As a rule

a sovereign power owns all land that is not privately owned. This is

based on Ottoman land law and British land law and is also enshrined in

Israeli land law. The process of final declaration as proscribed by the

authorities is in place as an extra protection of private property rights. As

such in the case where the sovereign power wants to advance building

plans in an area where the land registry record is not complete it has to

do an in-depth survey of the land by law, to ensure 1000% that the land

is not privately owned.



After decades of due process the land was surveyed and considered

wasteland/ownerless (see above more info on issue of ownerless), yet

even so a 45-day window of appeal is available by law.



There is an additional 175,000 acres across Judea and Samaria that is

still awaiting the continuation of the surveying process in various areas

covered by Area C.


11) Despite being in the general vicinity of Bethlehem, the land is closest to a

number of Jewish communities such as Beitar Illit, Alon Shvut and

Kibbutz Kfar Etzion and does not infringe on any Palestinian

communities or towns in the area.


12) The Israeli Supreme Court ruling of Alon Moreh 1979, makes illegal the

expropriation of private land for the establishment of civilian

communities. However Israeli law is very clear about the rights of Israel

to build on Public Land to be used for civilian use.


For comments, feedback or any questions please contact

Ari Briggs   ari@regavim.org


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