Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Israel appropriates 580 acres of land in the Jordan valley


By Marta Feirra - March 17, 2016
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Israel has appropriated vast tracks of land in the occupied West Bank, the watchdog group Peace Now reported on Tuesday.

Israel’s Civil Administration Head of the Government Property signed a declaration according to which 580 acres of land south of the Palestinian city of Jericho are now government property, Israeli Army radio reported on Tuesday.

The declaration comes two months after Israel’s Minister of Defense approved another declaration that claimed 370 acres as state lands in the Jordan Valley.

“The declaration, which is in fact a confiscation, was meant for the expansion of nearby settlements as well as for trade and tourism projects operated by the settlers,” Peace Now wrote.

The group said the recent seizure of land in the Jordan valley represented the largest land confiscation in the West Bank in recent years.

In a public statement, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat called on the international community to condemn Israel’s land confiscations. He said Israel’s confiscation of land around Jericho is a continuation of its “colonial project by maintaining its belligerent occupation and by annexing more Palestinian lands.”

The U.S. State Department criticized the land seizure. Spokesman John Kirby said it was the “latest step in what appears to be an ongoing process of land expropriations, settlement expansions and legalizations of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution” to the conflict.

“We strongly oppose any steps that accelerate settlement expansion, which raise serious questions about Israel’s long-term intentions,” Kirby said.

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