Israelis accused of stealing land

Israeli police have arrested eight people on suspicion of stealing hundreds of plots of Palestinian-owned land by falsifying documents.

    Police say many Palestinian lots were stolen by Israelis

    Police believe the suspects forged ownership documents for plots of Palestinian land in the southern West Bank and around Jerusalem, then sold the land to a company called Himanuta, a subsidiary of the Jewish National Fund, which manages state land.

    The suspects are believed to have pocketed between $4.5-$6.8 million for the land sales, Israel's private Channel 2 reported on Sunday, without saying exactly how much land had been sold.

    Following an undercover investigation, police arrested eight people, including a senior official in the Israeli civil administration, which operates in the West Bank, several Israeli businessmen and a lawyer, the report said.

    Police suspect the land sale was rubber-stamped by the civil administration official in exchange for a bribe.

    Another 19 lawyers are also expected to be questioned over their alleged involvement in the land sales, the channel said.

    "There are many suspects involved in this investigation, among them a senior officer of the civil administration, a lawyer, two Israelis and others involved with the company Himanuta," West Bank police chief Aliazir Alhar said at a televised press conference.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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