Palestinian residents appealed the Israeli High Court to allow them entry to their own lands located behind the Wall surrounding Jerusalem, and to reveal the list of properties considered by Israel as ‘absentee properties’.

The Israeli online daily Haaretz reported that Israel did not grant the residents permits to enter their farmlands in spite of a ruling by the Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz ordering the Israeli government should not implement the 1950 Absentee property law.

Also, Mazuz ordered the Israeli government not to implement the policy which allows capture lands in east Jerusalem owned by residents living in other Palestinian areas in the West Bank.

The petition which was filed to the High Court of Justice by Daniel Seidemann from Ir Amim organization of behalf of Palestinian landowners revealed that the orders of Mazuz are still not implemented, the petition also seeks a case in order to force Israel publish a list of properties seized by the state.

Haaretz added that the Israeli government decided mid 2004 to implement the absentee property law on all the Palestinian lands which were isolated behind the Separation Wall, thus annexing lands near Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Beit Jala and other areas.

Even after Mazuz issued his orders, Palestinian land owners were not allowed to cultivate their lands East of Jerusalem, and lost an entire agricultural season last year.

Seidemann requested the High Court’s intervention, and said that the Finance Ministry and the Ministry for Jerusalem Affairs also believe that Mazuz’s ruling does not cancel out the cabinet decision of land grab.

Also, the petition raised fears of landowners that many lands owned by them were transferred to the ownership of Israel before the decision of Mazuz in January 2005, especially in the village of Al-Walaja, and Khirbit Mazmuria, southwest of Jerusalem; Israel plans to construct settlement neighborhoods in the two areas.