Israel’s plan to extend its sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, and parts of Judea and Samaria, is sparking considerable debate, mostly about the diplomatic aspects of U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan, but also regarding property registration issues.

According to an Israel Hayom investigation, applying sovereignty will allow some 100,000 homeowners to complete the transfer of ownership rights and register their properties with the Land Registration Office. This applies to structures built in the late 1980s and early 1990s by construction companies throughout Judea and Samaria. Among the communities in question are Givat Ze’ev, Beitar, Efrat, Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim, Beit-El, Elon Moreh and others.

Due to the fact that Israeli law doesn’t currently apply to Judea and Samaria, and because of the problem of the status of the specific lands on which some of these apartments were built, these homeowners have been unable to finalize the process of transferring ownership and registering their properties with the Land Registration Office.

To circumvent the problem, the state reached an agreement with the construction companies whereby the companies would manage any registry and ownership transfer issues. Over the years, these companies have grown increasingly tired of this considerable responsibility. The apartment owners have also become increasingly bitter, because they have had to pay these companies for managing these issues. Some of these construction companies, meanwhile, have since filed for bankruptcy, creating a bureaucratic nightmare for homeowners.

Within the framework of a petition submitted to Israel’s High Court of Justice, one of the companies demanded that the state assume responsibility for the registry issue. In July of last year, the state said it was working to transfer this responsibility to the Civil Administration while recognizing the “right of the purchasers of property deeds in Judea and Samaria to centralized and organized land registration.” As a result, the petition was dismissed, yet no progress has since been made to resolve the matter.

Now, with Israel seemingly on the verge of applying sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, the entire matter becomes moot. This is because the moment Israeli law goes into effect in Judea and Samaria, the lands on which these apartments were built will transfer to the Israel Land Authority and the homeowners will be able to immediately register their properties with the Land Registration Office.

Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi said: “Once Israeli law is applied in Judea and Samaria it will create certainty and ensure the rights of all property owners, who still depend on the good graces of the construction companies from which they bought their homes.”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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