Mar. 29, 2019
- Israeli Sovereignty and the “Mukhtar Protocol” – Naomi Linder Kahn
In many areas in east Jerusalem, no survey or registration of ownership was conducted after the Six-Day War. Instead, local mukhtars (chieftains or village dignitaries) were given sole authority to decide who are the legal owners of the land in question, circumventing the procedures that normally regulate land registry under Israeli law.
In practice, the “Mukhtar Protocol” spawned a massive industry of wholesale land giveaways and illegal land deals, forgery of documents and deeds, under-the-table payments, and false testimony – and has had devastating results for the rightful owners of property, Arabs and Jews alike.
In far too many cases, these mukhtars testified that properties were owned by residents of their village – when in fact the very same land parcels were legally registered in Israel’s land registry as the property of individual Jewish or Arab owners; documents presented by these mukhtars to substantiate their “expert testimony” were proven to be forgeries.
This month, for the first time, the Jerusalem Planning and Construction Committee rejected dozens of permit requests for projects in eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem that were based on the Mukhtar Protocol. The writer is Director of the International Division of Regavim. (Jerusalem Post)