Administrative Decision to Seize Property Contrary to the Law



West Bank

His Excellency Head of the Palestinian Land Authority

Mr. Saeb Nathif,


Subject: Administrative decision to cease property contrary to the law


MUSAWA received a written complaint from the citizen Iyad Mohammad Ata Siddeh, a resident of the village of Jeet in Qalqilya, stating that he purchased a piece of land, located in the aforementioned village, registered at Qalqilya’s land registration department, and numbered 68, basin number 3, named Um Al-Fahem land. When he contacted Qalqilya’s land registration department to get a title deed of property, he was informed by the head of the department that Your Excellency ordered the seizure of the land, pursuant to someone’s claim of its ownership.


We, at MUSAWA, reviewed the relevant laws and we believe that your decision, with all due respect, violates the provisions of the law and is not legally justified, especially that seizing a property by your respected department as is restricted to specific cases; these cases are considered exceptions where a court decision is not needed in order to seize land. These exceptions are: immovable property to secure a debt, seizure until registration fees are paid, or a private road. In any other case, it is not allowed to seize land based on an administrative decision. In cases other than the ones mentioned above, land can only be seized following a judicial decision issued by a competent court. Any person who claims the property of land, can contact the competent court to prove his right or to obtain a court decision to seize the property subject of the dispute until a judgment is passed. And whereas the reason behind your administrative decision to seize the aforementioned piece of land is based on a personal claim or complaint that was presented by a person for the purpose of preventing citizen Iyad from disposing of his property, without any reference to a court decision stating the seizure of this piece of land.


Accordingly, and based on a complaint by Iyad, if true, attached to this memo, we kindly hope of Your Excellency to cancel your decision regarding seizing the aforementioned land, as it represents a departure from your jurisdiction and a violation of the law, according to what was mentioned in the complaint MUSAWA received and the relevant provisions.


With all due respect,


Chairman of the Board of Directors 

Lawyer Yasser Jaber


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