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Absentee Property Law

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Absentee Property Law - The "Absentee property law" generally refers to Knesset law Number 20 of 1950, governing the property of Arab refugees from the  state of Israel following the Arab-Israel war of 1948 (Israeli War of Independence). The law was passed March 14, 1950 and amended 6.3.51, 14.2.56, 3.19.58, 2.2.65, 8.7.67 and 8.8.67. The law appoints a custodian of absentee property for property of refugees including real estate, currency, financial instruments and other goods, and allows rental of such property as well as release and sale. This law replaced the emergency Abandoned Property law of 1948, and it allowed sale of the property. Properties were sold to the Jewish National Fund and the Israel lands administration.

Other states have enacted similar laws where appropriate. For example, Jordan had a custodian of absentee property to manage and sell the property of Jews evicted from Gush Etzion, Jerusalem, Neve Yaakov and other places during the Arab-Israel war of 1948.    


Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information:  Israel Absentee Property Law

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Encyclopedia of the Middle East

Note - This encyclopedia is a work in progress. It is far from complete and is being constructed and improved all the time. If you would like to contribute articles or expansions of existing articles, please contact news (at) mideastweb.org.  Suggestions and corrections are welcome. The concise version of this dictionary is at our Middle East Glossary.

Spelling - Spelling of words in Middle-Eastern languages is often arbitrary. There may be many variants of the same name or word such as Hezbollah, Hizbolla, Hisbolla or Husayn and Hussein. There are some conventions for converting words from Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew There are numerous variant renderings of the same Arabic or Hebrew words, such as "Hizbollah," "Hisbulla" etc. It is not possible to find exact equivalents for several letters. 

Pronunciation - Arabic and Hebrew vowels are pronounced differently than in English. "o" is very short. The "a" is usually pronounced like the "a" in market, sometimes as the "a" in "Arafat."  The " 'A " is guttural.  " 'H "- the 'het ('Hirbeh, 'Hebron, 'Hisbollah') designates a sound somewhat similar to the ch in "loch" in Scots pronunciation, but made by touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The CH should be pronounced like Loch, a more assertive consonant than 'het.

The "Gh" combination, and sometimes the "G," designate a deep guttural sound that Westerners may hear approximately as "r." The "r" sound is always formed with the back of the tongue, and is not like the English "r."

More information: Hebrew, Arabic

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