Some 93% of land in Israel is in the public domain; that is, it is either property of the State, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) or the Development Authority (Reshut HaPituach – the body which was established in 1950 to manage lands entrusted with the Trustee for Absentee Properties After the War of Independence).
The Israel Land Administration (ILA) is the government agency responsible for managing this land which comprises approx. 22 million dunams. “Ownership” of real estate in Israel usually means leasing rights from the ILA for 49 years or 98 years (49 years with an additional 49-year option).
A real estate purchase in Israel can be registered at a number of entities in Israel:
- The Land Registry (Lishkat Rishum Me’karkein or Tabu), which forms part of the Ministry of Justice.
- The Israel Land Administration (Minhal Mekarkei Yisrael or the Minhal), which forms part of the Ministry of Housing and Construction.
- Contract registration at the offices of construction companies approved as residential construction companies (Chevrot Meshakenot).
- Contract registration at certain law firms.