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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?

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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.

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    The JNF is a private fund (wikipedia calls it "quasi-government organization) but the allocations of the land bought in that fund must be done by the state. Only 7% of all of Israel is privately owned, the JNF for comparison owns 13% of Israel real estate. – Evan Carroll Apr 12 '13 at 21:30
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    @EvanCarroll - you're reading it wrong (or rather, the wording is very confusing in the Wiki). 7% is lands that ILA doesn't manage, NOT "private land". Since ILA manages JNA lands (which are STILL privately owned by JNA), JNA is not included in that 7% figure Wiki lists. – user4012 Apr 12 '13 at 22:04
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    I'm not so sure that we can claim "without any controversies" for an issue that reached the Supreme Court (amongst other things). – yannis Apr 12 '13 at 22:31
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    @EvanCarroll - A financial company XYZ manages my 201k. Nevertheless, it is MY money, and that company doesn't have anything to do with how I decide to allocate it once I'm retired. If I decide to put it in my will that my funds go to only left handed redheads born in 2000, that's MY policy, not the company managing the funds. – user4012 Apr 15 '13 at 3:38
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    @EvanCarroll - I have zero decision making on where a portfolio manager in a fund I'm invested in decides to invest day to day. – user4012 Apr 15 '13 at 18:55
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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.

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    -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 '13 at 19:38
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    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. – Evan Carroll Apr 12 '13 at 19:58
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    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 '13 at 21:09
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    @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. – Evan Carroll Apr 12 '13 at 21:31
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    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 '13 at 22:25

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