J. N. F’s Wadi Hawareth Lands Again Subject of Litigation

The district court at Tulkarem decided today that the eviction of the Arab tenants from 3,600 of the 45,000 dunams of land at Wadi Hawareth claimed by the Jewish National Fund was illegal and the tenants are entitled to resettle. The claim was made on behalf of eight Arab squatters against the legality of the sale by the execution office.

This is the first adverse decision the Jews have sustained in the long drawn out litigation over the Wadi Hawareth lands. The Jewish authorities, nevertheless, are not perturbed since the sale of the lands to the Jewish National Fund was conditioned on proof that this area did not belong to the tenants and if this proof was not forthcoming the Fund was to be reimbursed. A more grievous case, however, is pending in which many of the former tenants on the Wadi Hawareth lands are claiming pre-emption rights and many invoke these rights to repurchase the lands which the Fund has acquired.

When the purchase of the land was made with a $1,000,000 fund subscribed by Canadian Zionists most of the Arab tenants had already evacuated, having been compensated by the Jewish National Fund. A few squatters refused to move despite compensations and court decisions. In September the land court at Tulkarem had ruled that the government was entitled to sell the Wadi Hawareth lands to the Fund.

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