Police believe the suspects forged ownership documents for plots of Palestinian land in the southern West Bank and around Jerusalem, then sold the land to a company called Himanuta, a subsidiary of the Jewish National Fund, which manages state land.
The suspects are believed to have pocketed between $4.5-$6.8 million for the land sales, Israel’s private Channel 2 reported on Sunday, without saying exactly how much land had been sold.
Following an undercover investigation, police arrested eight people, including a senior official in the Israeli civil administration, which operates in the West Bank, several Israeli businessmen and a lawyer, the report said.
Police suspect the land sale was rubber-stamped by the civil administration official in exchange for a bribe.
Another 19 lawyers are also expected to be questioned over their alleged involvement in the land sales, the channel said.
“There are many suspects involved in this investigation, among them a senior officer of the civil administration, a lawyer, two Israelis and others involved with the company Himanuta,” West Bank police chief Aliazir Alhar said at a televised press conference.