March 15The High Court of Justice gives its decision regarding the Beit El settlement. The Palestinian owners of the seized land contend that the establishment of a civilian community does not meet the security needs for which the land was taken. The High Court rules in favor of the state, holding that the settlements fulfill a security need.
October 22The High Court decides the Elon Moreh case, rejecting the security argument as a basis for the seizure of land to establish the settlement. Unlike the Beit El case, this time, the petitioners submit affidavits of former senior military officials that question the security need in building a settlement in the heart of a densely populated area. In addition, the settlers themselves submit an affidavit that avoids the security pretext and claim they have a complete and unconditional right to settle everywhere in the West Bank. Following the court’s decision, new ways are found to seize Palestinian land on which to build settlements. At the instruction of Pliya Albeck, senior assistant to the state attorney, Israel takes advantage of provisions of an Ottoman law that applies in the Occupied Territories, which states that unregistered lands (accounting for two-thirds of the West Bank) that are not cultivated for a certain period of time can be declared “state lands.” Over the years, Israel will declare close to 30 percent of the West Bank “state lands.”
OctoberThe Palestinian National Front, which classifies itself as the arm of the PLO in the Occupied Territories, is banned.
Order No. 783, relating to the administration of regional councils, grants the Jewish councils powers over a substantial portion of the West Bank while denying the same powers to the Palestinian councils. Order No. 892, which will be issued in 1981, grants similar powers to Jewish local councils. These orders expand the application of Israeli law in the Occupied Territories to the extensive lands of the regional and local councils and pave the way for control of large sections of land. Within a few years, settlements will control about 42 percent of the land in the West Bank.
The Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC) is founded by a group of Palestinian doctors and health professionals affiliated with the Palestinian Communist Party. The UPMRC focuses on bringing primary health care and health education to rural areas in an attempt to diminish Israel’s control and dominance of Palestinian health care.