Committee to recommend privatizing Israel's land

Says there is no need for the government to retain control of the country's territory.

JNF KKL 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
JNF KKL 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Israel's land should be privatized for the benefit of its citizens, a public committee for land use policy is expected to recommend Wednesday at the Sixth Jerusalem Conference for National Land Policy. The committee is comprised of nine volunteer experts in land use, politics, law and geography. It was formed several months ago to study the need for land policy reform in Israel. It concluded that there is no need for the government to retain control of the country's land. The conference will also feature two studies conducted by the Land Policy and Land Use Research Institute. The first study examined the necessity of privatizing Israel's land, 93 percent of which is owned by the Jewish National Fund and managed by the Israel Lands Administration (ILA). This study recommends that most of the nation's land that has no security significance be privatized. Another study looked into land ownership in other countries and found that, in most cases, the public - not the government - is the proprietor. A conference on land policy is necessary because the question of policy reform rears its head in the High Court of Justice too often, said conference chairman Adi Niv, who also chairs the Land Policy and Land Research Institute. "Almost any decision the Israel Lands Administration makes ends up at the High Court of Justice," he said. "The lack of a national consensus on this issue creates many conflicts between the organizations that deal with [land], and since the government cannot solve the constant dispute, it needs to be solved by the public." Housing and Construction Minister Ze'ev Boim, who also serves as ILA chairman, will be one of the featured speakers at the conference.