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The End of Agricultural Supremacy: The 2009 Reform of Israel's National Land Policy

Ravit Hananel

Keywords: AGRICULTURAL LAND; ISRAEL LAND ADMINISTRATION (ILA); LAND REFORM; NATIONAL LAND POLICY; URBAN LAND

Abstract

This study examines the impact of the Israel Land Administration (ILA) reform of 2009 on Israeli land policy in general and on the status of agricultural land in particular. Despite repeated statements by government representatives that the reform pertains only to urban land, my analysis reveals that this legislation has dramatically changed the relationship between urban and agricultural land in Israel. For more than a century, agricultural land enjoyed both substantive and quantitative supremacy over urban land, but after the reform was approved, urban land became the default land definition. I suggest explanations for these fundamental changes and discuss their implications for the future, including the need to formulate new definitions for land uses in both the agricultural and urban sectors.

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