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J.N.F. Board Opposes Selling of Nationally Owned Land to Tenants

Opposition to a change in policy that would have permitted the sale of nationally-owned lands to private interests was reaffirmed here today at a meeting of the board of directors of the Jewish National Fund. The stand was taken in the face of strong lobbying by urban tenants and lessors of other publicly owned or publicly administered properties, who insisted on permission to purchase lands they now occupy.

Earlier, Finance Minister Levi Eshkol had intimated that the Land Authority would consider favorably requests for purchase by occupants of property under its jurisdiction. The Land Authority is a partnership between the Israel Government and the JNF.

Today’s JNF board meeting also appointed a committee to recommend simplifications of relations between the JNF and tenants regarding rentals, consent fees for the transfer of rights to a third party, and permission to make alterations on occupied land. The committee is to study how national lands might be used to halt speculation in urban areas. Such speculation has pushed prices to astronomical heights.

Some economic experts advocate the sale of public lands in urban areas as the only means for knocking the bottom out of current speculation. They contend that aside from discouraging construction and causing destabilization of the real estate market, the speculation is one of the major causes of continued inflation.

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