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Report: The Overwhelming Number of ‘Amana’ Land Acquisitions in Yehuda And Shomron are Illegal

lAlmost all of the land acquisitions carried out by Al-Watan, which is owned by ‘Amana’, which is in essence Gush Emunim, were illegal, the Channel 10 News magazine program HaMakor with Raviv Drucker reported. According to the report, a startling 14 of 15 acquisitions undertaken by Al-Watan, headed by Amana leader Ze’ev Chever (Zambish) are illegal. Zambish is the legendary Gush Emunim personality who has dedicated his life to building Yehuda and Shomron, a former close friend of the late Ariel Sharon until the latter betrayed Gush Emunim by planning and carrying out the Gaza expulsion in 2005.

The report states police have learned that 14 of the 15 purchases which Amana claimed were legal dealings were in fact illegal, turning over the case to the state prosecutor.

According to Drucker, two Arabs worked as Al-Watan straw men, who bought land from people using forged documents and then handed over the land to Amana, with the latter insisting the controversial sale was legal and in line with the letter of the law. This method was used on a number of occasions in recent years when they were told they must evacuate an outpost, then reporting the land in question was legally purchased.

One of the straw men, Akram, told the camera he signed on a number of deals including in Silwad, in the Ramallah district. He explained that he followed his instructions and made a number of deals. The Arab straw men also reported receiving a suitcase containing NIS 500,000 from a Jerusalem attorney whose name is barred from publication by a gag order. Drucker reports that these fake deals involved the attorney receiving most of his money back and only handing over NIS 10,000 for the so-called legal sale.

As part of the report two of the sellers who signed on bogus sales explained they are not the owners of the land as claimed but that the land once belonged to Arabs who are no longer living. In short, they were selling the Brooklyn Bridge.

Police have completed their investigation and turned over the case to the prosecution to file indictments.

In response to the program, Al-Watan released a statement all of its land deals were legal.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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