In light of the recent proposal by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which proposes a 1.9% “land exchange” between the West Bank and Israel, Al-Haq wishes to highlight the consequences of a warlike territorial exchange agreement. The proposal is one of the territory exchange proposals put forward in recent years by the PLO and Israel, all of which deal with the maintenance of major settlement blocks in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in exchange for low-density agricultural land, adjacent to the Gaza Strip, the Sinai desert and part of the West Bank, as well as areas in the Negev desert. A land exchange is a tool that allows a city to trade a common land with private land. Governments can use land exchange to enable urban development and regeneration on land subject to other restrictions (for example. B founding countries or countries subject to restrictions, such as areas controlled by the army. B, for example). The city of Rio de Janeiro used land exchange to bring together, as part of its urban renewal plan for the 2016 Olympic Games, the water land it needed for large-scale construction. The city purchased a few waterfront packages that the Brazilian navy controlled through a process of exchanging or exchanging land with other parcels that the city owned elsewhere and which were considered equivalent. This land exchange approach has been used because the Brazilian navy cannot transfer its land. Similarly, Awqaf (an Islamic foundation) cannot be ceded to a country, so land exchanges have been carried out to enable the Egyptian government to acquire strategic land necessary for the settlement and rehabilitation of land. Al-Haq is pleased to announce the publication of “Exploring the Illegality of `Land Swap` Agreements under Occupation.” The new position paper examines the legal impact of land exchange agreements between Israel and Palestinian representatives, while the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip is still ongoing.
In light of recent requests by the international community to launch the peace process between Israel and Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders, Al-Haq wishes to stress that agreements involving the exchange of land are not compatible with the right of occupation. In a land exchange scenario, a municipality could negotiate with the landowner in the target urban renewal area to exchange the site for the fair negotiated value of another urban area. This would, of course, be a single negotiated transaction, in which the existing owner does not want to sell the land, but is open to an exchange of land for the fair value of the existing land, or b) the city does not want or cannot (or cannot legally) pay the existing owner in cash for the value of the land.