Plia Albeck, Who Paved Legal Way for 100 Settlements, Dies

Albeck's rulings were used to declare once-Ottoman Palestinian land as State Land.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Plia Albeck, a former key government legal official whose rulings on the extent of state lands paved the way for the construction of the more than 100 settlements that she once called "my children," died early Tuesday at her home in Jerusalem at the age of 68.

Albeck ran the Civil Department of the State Prosecutor's Office for 24 years, during which she bore responsibility for the legal handling of land in the West Bank.

Her rulings led to many areas beyond the 1967 Green Line border being declared state land, enabling the creation of settlements within Israeli law.

Albeck, the daughter of a former State Comptroller, became a part of the folklore of the settlement project, touring the territories in jeeps and helicopters to locate proprietary rights.

"There are more than 100 settlements that were built because of my legal opinion," Albeck said in an interview with Haaretz about a year ago.

"When I visited them I always felt like they were my children."

She utilized a legal mechanism relying on land once held by the Ottoman Empire to define many areas in the territories as state land, thus allowing their subsequent designation for settlement.

During Likud governments, Albeck's legal opinions were the necessary conditions for the approval of new enclaves.