British MP Galloway, says in this video:

"Israel precludes Arab citizens of its own state from buying property and land inside that state except in carefully controlled Arab villages."

Is this true? Are Arab citizens of Israel prohibited from purchasing land in certain places of Israel?


2 Answers 2


The answer is a simple "No", without any controversies.

There are and never were any laws prohibiting or controlling the sale of land based on nationality.

The JNF (mentioned in the other answer) has nothing to do with "Israel" since it's a private fund, not a government institution (and owns only 13% of total land).

The only controversy is over whether said private entity could be forced by the state to choose who it sells the land it owns to.

On a side note, while Israel has no legal limitations on sale of land to Arabs, many Arab states have legal limitations on selling land to Jews. In some - such as PA - selling property to Jews is punishable by death penalty. Those laws can't be blamed on "settlement" and "occupation" since they were in place since before Israel was founded in 1948.


No, not really, but there is a controversy regarding this issue, and prior to 2005 the answer would have been yes.

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is a fundraising body. As such, much of funds are earmarked with racism to specifically benefit Jews. The Israel Land Administration (ILA) is tasked with allocating JNF lands. Recently, the ILA was denied the ability to resist allocations on the basisis of Jewishness. That said, it seems as if the ILA must contribute the same size land to the JNF anytime that it allocates JNF land to Arabs. This seems to ensure that no ethnicity no matter how financially strong could ever purchase anything but a minority of the land in Israel.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_National_Fund#Leasing_policy_controversy

It may sound awkward to say "JNF land", but technically it is privately held managed by the ILA. Further, no land managed by the ILA is sold, only managed and leased.

  • 12
    -1 - this is a very misleading answer. The only restrictions are specifically on JNF lands - any Jewish citizen owning land can sell it to an Arab without any restrictions. Without being punished by official death sentence which would happen to any Arab who sold any land to Jews.
    – user4012
    Apr 12, 2013 at 19:38
  • 7
    What does Jews buying land from Arabs have to do with Arabs leasing land from Jews? go take your political disposition to your own question. Apr 12, 2013 at 19:58
  • 9
    what does a private company having any sort of policy on a small minority of land it owns have to do with "Israel"?
    – user4012
    Apr 12, 2013 at 21:09
  • 5
    @DVK It's not a private company as you think of it. It's more of an American trust. It is given money to purchase land in that trust. The management of that trust, the custodian if you will, is the ILA. Apr 12, 2013 at 21:31
  • 5
    the money comes from private sources. ILA merely manages the land - more like hiring someone to manage any other property you own. The point is that this land is NOT owned by ILA or any branch of Israel's government, nor was bought by them.
    – user4012
    Apr 12, 2013 at 22:25

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