The former director of Israel's Lands Administration (ILA) has confirmed that privately-owned Palestinian lands in the northern Jordan Valley area have been transferred to a kibbutz, Merav, inside Israel, in violation of international law and with no jurisdictions; Haaretz newspaper revealed on Tuesday.
The Israeli newspaper reported that despite the revelation more than a year ago, the kibbutz in question still exploits more than 1,200 acres of land located in the northern Jordan Valley area, which have not been returned to their owners.
This latest disclosure comes in the wake of a letter sent by the director of the ILA last week to Tawfiq Jabarin, the legal representative of the landowners from Bardala and Tubas districts. The letter pointed out that since December of 2012, the ILA director informed the kibbutz settlers that the lands were annexed "by mistake".
According to Haaretz, the occupation authorities have, over many years, seized thousands of acres of the land in the Jordan Valley area, owned by Palestinians, and transferred them to agricultural settlements.
Last week's communication from the ILA to Jabarin comes one year after his appeal was made. The ILA said it every effort will be made to resolve the matter.