The Ottoman Land Law of 1858 seeks to collect more revenue from land owners. Acqusition of title deeds could generate revenue. However, by providing title deeds, individual registrants are given a basis for collateral or for debt payment. Gradually, in the area of Palestine and elsewhere in the Middle East, rural populations exchange title deeds for debt relief, a new plough, seeds, or just cash. Peasants who once owned or worked their own land now give others a chance to accumulate title deeds and eventually large areas of land. Accumulating title deeds and land, where land is a sparse but valuable commodity, gives new landowning elites enormous political power, and makes peasants dependent upon them. Larger landowners are usually more than willing to sell portions or all of their holdings to Zionist buyers.
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