This article focuses on land rights, land law and land administration within a multilayered colonial setting by examining a major land dispute in British ruled Palestine (1917-1948). Our research reveals that the Mandate legal system extinguished indigenous rights to much land in the Zor al-Zarqa and Barrat Qisarya regions through its use of 'colonial law' - the interpretation of Ottoman law by colonial officials, the use of foreign legal concepts, and the transformation of Ottoman law through supplementary legislation. However, the colonial legal system was also the site of local resistance by some Palestinian Arabs attempting to remain on their land in the face the pressure of the Mandate authorities and Jewish colonization officials. This article sheds light on the dynamics of the Mandate legal system and colonial law in the realm of land tenure relations. It also suggests that the joint efforts of Mandate and Jewish colonization officials to appropriate land and undertake 'development' operations in the area were fueled by neither the interests of colonial rule nor those of Jewish colonization alone, but, rather, by the integrated impact of both forces.
Forman, Geremy and Kedar, Alexander (Sandy), Colonialism, Colonization and Land Law in Mandate Palestine:
The Zor al-Zarqa and Barrat Qisarya Land Disputes in Historical Perspective. Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=456880
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