Friday, 18 November 2011

Palestinian land confiscated by Israeli government and given to illegal settlements

Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the Israeli government confiscated privately owned Palestinian lands in the Jordan Valley, and gave the lands to Kibbutz Merav, inhabited by Jewish settlers.

The Israeli government re-routed the Annexation Wall in the area in order to secure the illegal takeover of nearly 1500 Dunams (375 Acres) of privately owned Palestinian lands, effectively declaring the lands as part of Israel.

The move in question is not new, as Israel’s settlements and settlements blocks in the occupied territories are mostly built on Palestinian lands. This instance is different as the ownership of West Bank Palestinian-owned lands is transferred to a Jewish community that is considered inside Israel itself.

Haaretz said that Maj. Guy Inbar, a spokesperson for the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the occupied territories, stated that the expropriated Palestinian lands are in the West Bank, and claimed that Jewish settlers in Merav “have been farming the lands for decades”.

Spokesperson of the Jewish Settlements Division of the World Zionist Organization, Ofer Amar, stated that the division has no authority on the land that is classified as “farmland”, and falls under the control of the Emek Mayanot Regional Council.

Director of Peace Now Movement, Dror Etkes, stated that the annexation order effectively robs the lands in order to give them to Amona, Givat Asaf and Migron illegal settlement outposts. more