Absentee

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A unique construct of Israelilaw applied to a person whose status is defined in Israel’s Basic Law: Law of Absentees’ Property (5710–1950) and applied both retroactively and prospectively for the State of Israel possession by confiscation properties (mostly to be administered by the Jewish National Fund and subsidiaries). Those whom the Basic Law identifies as “absentees” include anyone who:

  1. At any time during the period between 16 Kislev 5708 (29 November 1947) and the declaration published under Section 9(d) of the Law and Administrative Ordinance, 12 Iyar 5708 (21 May 1948), has ceased to exist as a legal owner of any property situated in the area of Israel or enjoyed or held by it, whether by himself of and another and who, at any time during the said period,

(i) was a national or citizen of the Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Transjordan, Iraq or the Yemen; or

(ii) was in one of these countries or in any part of Palestine outside the area of Israel; or

(iii) was a Palestinian citizen and left his ordinary pace of residence in Palestine

  • for a place outside Palestine before 27 Av 5708 (1 September 1948); or
  • for a place in Palestine held at the time by forces that sought to prevent the establishment of the state of Israel or that fought against its establishment.”[1]

[1]   Full the full text of Basic Law: Absentees’ Property Law, at:

http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/d80185e9f0c69a7b85256cbf005afeac/e0b719e95e3b494885256f9a005ab90a!OpenDocument.