Police Arrest Israelis Suspected of Forging West Bank Deeds to Steal Land

The suspects from the towns of Tira and Jaljulya aimed to sell the land to other Israelis, the police say

The Israeli settlement of Kedumim (illustrative).
JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP

The police on Tuesday arrested four Israelis suspected of forging documents enabling the theft of Palestinian land – the suspects are residents of the largely Arab towns of Tira and Jaljulya.

The investigation, opened about two months ago following complaints by the defense establishment's Civil Administration, involves forged documents from a series of West Bank land deals. The police suspect that the four men forged documents to transfer the title of the deeds in question. One of the suspects is a lawyer, a source familiar with the case told Haaretz.

“Lawyers and brokers had the sides sign the land deals without proof of legal ownership of the land,” the Israel Police in the West Bank said.

A source familiar with the affair said the investigation was opened after the suspects asked the Civil Administration to transfer title of land they had tried to sell in their name. It was then discovered that the properties belonged to West Bank Palestinians rather than to the suspects, who allegedly forged the deeds in order to sell the properties to other Israelis.

The investigation into one suspect a Tira resident in his 40s who was released on bail continues. The police are expected to seek an extension of the detention of the other three – two from Tira in their 60s and one from Jaljulya who is around 40.