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Israel admits it allocates most state land to settlers

February 15, 2014 at 1:27 pm

The Israeli authorities allocated less than one per cent of so-called state land in the West Bank to the Palestinians, compared to 37 per cent to the illegal Jewish settlers, Haaretz newspaper reported on Thursday.

The total area of such land in the occupied West Bank is just over 320,000 acres, of which about a third has been given to illegal settlers. Palestinians, meanwhile, have received just 2,100 acres.

The details of the land distribution were revealed in documents submitted to a West Bank court by Israel’s Civil Administration. They showed that the land was registered in Israel as “state land” in 1979, prior to which it was registered in the name of the Jordanian government. The decision to declare it as “state land” was made after the Israeli Supreme Court ruled against confiscating Palestinian land under the pretext of security. The government, however, has used it to build settlements and, according to Haaretz, has admitted that the change of status was made for political reasons to facilitate settlement growth.

All Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.