(August 4, 2020, Jerusalem, JNS Wire) “Even a cursory read between the lines of the State Comptroller’s report on the Civil Administration leaves no room for argument: The Civil Administration must be shut down, and its professional staff reassigned to the relevant ministries of the Israeli government,” says Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim.
“The purpose of the State Comptroller’s report is to identify the gaps, failures and lacunae that inevitably occur within and among the bureaucracies and branches of government, but the quantity of failures that are caused by the division of authority over the Civil Administration between two “masters” –the IDF and the defense system, on the one hand, and civilian ministries of government on the other hand – illustrates that there is a substantive problem that cannot be resolved without the application of Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria. Any other solutions will be nothing more than patching and re-patching the worn and tattered blanket of law and order that is meant to stave off chaos in the heart of Israel.”
“This report highlights two majors failures impacting land issues – failures that we have been addressing for many years,” adds Deutsch.
“Aside from the basic fact that the Land Registry for Judea and Samaria is not available to Israeli citizens – which in and of itself constitutes a severe infringement of property rights and freedom of information, the administration of the Land Registry is completely outmoded. The painstaking, glacial pace of hand-written record keeping is fertile ground for forgery, and leads to further violation of property rights, making it nearly impossible to conduct property transactions in a normal fashion. The failure to carry out the necessary registration and regulation of land in these areas has enabled the Palestinian Authority to carry out a well-planned, carefully-timed and well-funded land-seizure program: Hundreds of thousands of dunams of land in Judea and Samaria have been commandeered through illegal construction and agricultural projects. To make matters worse, the Palestinian Authority has done precisely what the State of Israel has failed to do for over 50 years, creating its own land registry in areas under full Israeli jurisdiction and redefining reality with facts on the ground.”
“The lack of interface between the Civil Administration and the relevant ministries, coupled with the fact that there is virtually no impartial oversight over the extent or effectiveness of the activities of the Civil Administration’s various Unit Commanders, complicates the situation even further, presenting insurmountable challenges to enforcement of the law and of the standards of professionalism and service of the public interest that are expected throughout Israel and all other western societies.”