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Mahlul Land

  Definition

Mahlul lands under Ottoman law were uncultivated Miri lands that would revert to the state, in theory after three years. The previous owner could reclaim the land by payment of the unimproved value, or if the owner failed to do so, others could buy the lease to this land. Miri land and Mahlul land were never bought outright, but were rather leased to tenants who "owned" only the rights to cultivate the land and sell the crops, paying a "tithe" that consisted of 10% of the gross crop plus an additional 2.63%  In 1921, there were about 87,233 dunams of Mahlul lands in Palestine out of over 26 million. However, since the ordinance that should have required continuous cultivation of the land was not enforced, this number did not represent the true amount of uncultivated land that should have reverted to the state. (Stein, Land Question, p 13). 

Ottoman land ownership laws and the status of land ownership in Palestine were crucially important in the history of Zionism, because of Zionist attempts to purchase land, Arab and British attempts to block them, and subsequent claims by Arabs that they had "owned" most of the land in what is now the State of Israel.


Synonymsand alternate spellings:  

Further Information: See The Land Question In Palestine, 1917-1939 by Kenneth W. Stein, University of North Carolina Press, 1984; The Land Question in Palestine; Buying the Emek; Palestine's Rural Economy, 1917 - 1939;Arab Revolt  Zionism and Its Impact;  Mulk; Miri; Mahlul ; Waqf; Matruka; Mawat; Musha'; jiftlik


Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.


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This work is copyright 2007 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. This entry contains material that is copyright by MideastWeb for Coexistence   Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel

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Mahlul land