In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates. Genesis 15:18
Here is a covenant for the ownership of land, made by God. It is an everlasting contract. Yet the land reaches from the Nile to the Euphrates, from the Arabian Desert to the Mediterranean Sea. The tiny UN-mandated country of Israel is only a small part of God's promised land.
So who owns the original land? Answer: Israel does, and always will.
But at the time of the grant to Abram there was no nation Israel to inhabit it. Four hundred thirty years of slavery in Egypt was yet to be endured. Then forty years of desert wandering over a distance that today is a cab ride. Did they walk slowly, or did something else keep them from possessing their Promised Land?
I heard a Zionist-approved broadcaster attempt to justify Israel's right to kill Palestinians by saying the land belongs to them. I suggest that Israel try to occupy all of Abram's portion on the same basis. They are trying to deny Palestinians the right to exist.
The broadcaster even made fun of the name Palestine, saying it had no validity. But it is the Roman name, and the Roman empire, in whatever form, has the right to control this area. In Luke 21:24, Jesus says so. Daniel chapter 2 maps out the territory. Luke gives us the time.
Having a title to the land does not automatically confer the right to occupy it. For example, in Jeremiah 29:4 Israel is removed from their land by the will of God. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon.
Who owned the Promised Land then? Israel, but they had no right to live there.
Same as today. Israel's day is coming, but until Jesus returns we are all living in the Times of the Gentiles.