Cite: Forman, The Land Settlement Ordinance Amendment of 1960


Forman, Geremy. "Liberal Reform in an Illiberal Land Regime: The Land Settlement Ordinance Amendment of 1960." Israel Studies 15,1 (2010): 47-72.



The 1960 Amendment to the 1928 Land Settlement Ordinance transferred land settlement adjudication from the “settlement officers” of the Israeli Justice Ministry to the district courts. Contextualized in a broad history of formative Israeli land law, this article carefully examines the evolution of the 1960 Amendment, which until now has gone unexplored by scholars. It explains why it was enacted when it was, despite consensus among executive officials that it would threaten vital Israeli interests in the predominantly Palestinian region of the Galilee. It also explains why, although liberal in nature, the reform did not provide private Palestinian landholders in the Galilee with a substantially more favorable judicial setting in which to dispute Israeli state claims to land they viewed as their own. Based on his findings, the author concludes by noting the utility of incorporating thorough archival research into studies of post-1948 Israeli legislation.




Keywords: Israel: Land Ownership, Israel: Law, Israeli Palestinians

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