Israel Lands Administration handed over properties in the Silwan neighborhood and the Old City of Jerusalem to right-wing groups Elad and Ateret Cohanim at low prices, without issuing a tender, a Haaretz investigation shows.The Israeli state concealed the transactions and did not make information available about them. Further to pressure made by left-wing activist Dror Etkes, the court decided to have the ILA disclose only part of the information, to impede identification of the properties. Haaretz has located three of the properties the ILA was required to report on.
Based on the exposĂ©, the ILA did not list dozens of properties. The lands could have been transferred to other similar organizations or subsidiaries, some of which may be registered abroad and considered tax shelters.
The inquiry contains transcripts of conversations held in 2008 by Elad leader, David Beeri, with then-Public Security Minister Avi Dichter during a visit to some of the properties.
Elad stated that it is in the process of buying properties but the acts are carried out in a legal, transparent and honest way. The ILA declared it had submitted all the required information. Ateret Cohanim did not comment.
The full story will appear in Sunday’s edition of the Haaretz English print edition