Shaked’s revolutionary initiative

Justice Minister aims to move land claims in Judea and Samaria from Supreme Court to local courts, protecting against leftist petitions.

Ayelet Shaked (Flash 90)

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is drafting a revolutionary bill that seeks to require Palestinian Arabs involved in land disputes on planning and building issues with Jews in Judea and Samaria to turn first to the Jerusalem District Court rather than immediately appeal to the Supreme Court., Yediot Aharonot reported this morning.

At the same time, Shaked is requesting that the handling of these petitions be transferred to the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office instead of to the Supreme Court Department, which currently handles the petitions.

Shaked, according to the report, wants to achieve three goals in the bill. The first is the normalization of Judea and Samaria. The second is the end to the discrimination that is applied to residents of Judea and Samaria who do not "merit" like the other residents of the state to settle land disputes in district and magistrate courts for regular civil and criminal cases. The third reason is to reduce the burden on the Supreme Court, which today deals with about 2,000 proceedings on this matter alone per year, hundreds of which are filed by Palestinian Arabs who have appealed against demolition orders for illegal construction.

In addition, Shaked proposes transferring additional powers from the Supreme Court to administrative courts, including petitions for freedom of information, petitions against decisions to enter and leave Israel, and the hearings for restraining orders.

The report noted that Shaked's attempt to transfer powers from the Supreme Court to local courts on matters relating to land disputes in Judea and Samaria aims at removing the "politicization" of such cases, so that Judea and Samaria is viewed the same way as any other part of Israel.

The significance of the move is that petitions filed by leftist organizations and Arabs claiming land ownership will have to meet the rigorous standards of veracity required by the local courts that are not required by the Supreme Court.

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