Absentees Against Their Will – Property Expropriation in East Jerusalem under the Absentee Property Law


The State of Israel, in its early days, enacted the Absentee Property Law in order to regulate transfer of Palestinian refugee property into the hands of the state. Subjugating East Jerusalem to Israeli law since 1967 has had the potential to render the majority of houses in East Jerusalem “absentee property.” This report reviews the Israeli judicial system’s inconsistent application of the Absentee Property Law in East Jerusalem, and illustrates the risks involved in changing the government policy towards East Jerusalem as adopted in 1967.