JNF Policy to Acquire Lands in the West Bank Exclusively for Jews
On February 14, 2021, the JNF Board of Directors approved a resolution promoting a policy of land acquisition in Area C in the West Bank, as part of what is known as “land redemption” in existing settlements and adjacent areas (areas nearby the settlements, but not within its territory). It has not yet become official policy, but it is expected to be approved. Whether or not it is approved, the position of the Association for Civil Rights is that this is a part of the process of turning the JNF into an instrument of de facto annexation of the West Bank. That is, the JNF will be involved in the formal annexation of the territories and purchases of land for the purpose of expanding the settlements, which constitute a violation of international law.
This decision promotes a policy that considers the West Bank as a part of Israel’s periphery and under the jurisdiction of the state, despite the fact that it is occupied territory that Israel oversees through a military regime as well as the fact that this will deepen the separate and discriminatory system of laws for residents on the basis of their national origin. It is a policy that deepens discrimination and violates the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank—both directly by acquiring and denying access to their lands and indirectly by expanding the settlement enterprise and deepening annexation, which impacts Palestinians’ rights in all areas of life.