In this paper we examine the Israeli government's use of law to institutionalize the dispossession of Palestinian Arabs displaced by the 1948 war and trace the legal transformation of their land during the formative years of Israel's land regime (1948-60). This legal transformation facilitated the expropriation and reallocation of formerly Arab land to primarily Jewish hands and was therefore a central component of the legal reordering of space within Israel after 1948. Based on close examination of Israeli legislation, archival documents, Knesset proceedings, and other sources we delineate a 12-year legislative process consisting of four phases, each concluding with the enactment of major legislation. The process was led by senior and second-tier Israeli officials, and the result was the construction of a new Israeli legal geography. The culmination of the process was the integration of appropriated Arab land into the country's new system of Jewish-Israeli 'national land' known as 'Israel Lands'.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)