(photo credit: Courtesy)
For the last fifty years any non-Jew wishing to lease KKL-JNF land was able to do so by means of the following arrangement: Israel Lands Authority, which administers all KKL-JNF land, would give him the KKL-JNF property he wanted to acquire, and would compensate the organization with land of equal value at another site.
Since 2004, however, because of technical and procedural problems, the Lands Authority has stopped doing this, and the Adalah Arab rights association has petitioned both the Authority and KKL-JNF in the High Court of Justice, on the grounds that KKL-JNF lands are no longer being sold to non-Jews.
The High Court of Justice has now accepted the view held by KKL-JNF and the State, which is that a land-swap agreement has to be reached between the two. For a period of three months, until a comprehensive arrangement has been worked out, the practice of individual land swaps will be reinstated and followed once more as it was for many years in the past.
KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler expressed his satisfaction at the court's decision, and said: "The land-swap arrangement was in force for decades. It discriminated against no one, and I am glad that the High Court of Justice has recognized this fact. Acting on the advice of the Attorney General, KKL-JNF will work towards the formulation of a comprehensive arrangement with the State, which on the one hand will honor the principle of equality for all citizens of the State of Israel, and on the other will allow KKL-JNF to continue to play its historic role as guardian of the land reserves purchased by and for the Jewish People.
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