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Colonial Cases

Bey v. Government of Palestine, 1932

[land law]

Bey v. Government of Palestine

Land Court, Haifa
Source: The Palestine Bulletin, 6 May 1932



   The claim against the Palestine Government, brought by a Turkish lady for land in Acre, which includes the famous site of the prison, as well as the Fortress itself, has been carried a stage further this week.  The lady who is claiming the land  and buildings has not admittedly been in possession, nor her ancestors before her, for a good century and the Government argues that she is prevented by this long lapse of time from making the claim.

   Abcarius Bey, appearing for the claimant, pointed out to the court that the lady's ancestor had been granted the property as a Waqf, which was good "from generation to generation."Every time the last survivor of one generation died, the beneficiary of the next generation, counsel argued is, according to Waqf law, entitled to claim the property, no matter how many years have elapsed.

   Mr. Elliott, on behalf of the Government, submitted that, whatever the Waqf law on the subject might be, it had not been proved that the property claimed was the property mentioned in the waqfieh.

   The Court has reserved judgment on the points raised.


The Palestine Bulletin, 4 August 1932


Acre Prison Ownership Claim

Acre. - The claim for the ownership of the prison of Acre by Andullah Lami Bey ex-Minister of Finance in the Turkish Cabinet and son of the late Kamel Pasha, the Turkish Prime Minister, was dismissed by the Land Court of Haifa sitting at Acre.

   The Court which was composed of Mr. Justice Seton and Judge Aziz Daoudi held disserting views.  One member held that prescription applied while the other did not.  In accordance with accepted practice, judgment was therefore entered in favour of the defendant, the Government of Palestine.

   The plaintiff decided to appeal.  The full story of this case will be given in to-morrow's issue.


Source: The Palestine Bulletin, 5 August 1932



   In connection with the judgment given in the Acre Prison case dismissing the claim of Lami Bey (reported in yesterday's issue), the following further details are available.

   During the 18th and early part lf the 19th centuries Acre was held by semi-independent Governors.  During the latter part of the 18th century, Acre came under the rule of Ahmed Pasha Jazar, a Turkish Mameluke.  He was known as the Pasha of Acre and died about 802-1803.  He was succeeded by another Mameluke, Suleiman Pasha, who was his adopted son.  Suleiman had no sons.  He adopted Ali Pasha, the creator of the Wakfieh of 1228 as his heir in which he said to have included the Acre Prison.

   Ali Ore deceased Suleiman.  On Salesman's death he was succeeded by Abdullah pasha, the son of Ali.  Both Ahmed Pasha Jazar and Ali Pasha, made Wakfs.  The Wakfieh of the former is of the year 1200, and that of the latter fog the year 1228.

   Abdullah Pasha like his predecessors was not on good terms with the Porte on account of arrears of taxes.  In the year 1830 the Sublime Porte sent a force against Acre under Dervish Pasha.  In 1831 Mohd. Ali Pasha of Egypt and Ibrahim Pasha invaded Palestine.  Acre was besieged and taken by the Egyptians in 1832; they remained in force until expelled by the Allied Fleet in 1840.

   Heavy and continuous bombardment of the Fortress of Acre took place at the siege by Dervish Pasha in 1832 - lasting six months - and in the year 1840 by a very powerful allied fleet under Sir Robert Stafford.

   In 1832 Abdullah Pasha was captured and deported.  Abdullah Pasha ultimately returned to Constantinople and died some years later in the Hedjaz.

   It is claimed that the present prison of Acre was included in the Wakfieh of Ali Pasha of 1228.  The income of the Wakf was to be expended on the descendants, "generation after generation," after deducting the maintenance of the Mejadileh Mosque of Acre.  The plaintiff argued that prescription did not run in respect of such a wakf so long as there is a Manager descended from the creator of the wakfieh.

   Abcarius Bey represented the plaintiff while Mr. Kantrovitch appeared for the Government of Palestine.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School