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Israel seeks confiscation of Palestinian lands for settlements

Israel is seeking to confiscate Palestinian lands for an illegal settlement near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, a statement by NGO Peace Now said yesterday.

The statement said that the Israeli Supreme Court would hold a hearing session regarding the petition jointly filed by the organisation and the Palestinian owners of the land, where 17 residential units were built as part of the illegal Israeli settlement of Derech Ha’Avot.

According to the statement, “the [Israeli] Minister of Defence is pushing the Attorney General (despite his legal opinion) to ask the court to allow a de-facto confiscation of the Palestinian lands in order to avoid the demolition” of the housing units.

Peace Now said the Israeli government uses legal trick to confiscate Palestinian lands in favour of the illegal settlement of Derech Ha’Avot which was established in 2001 on private Palestinian land. It started with 60 settlement units.

After a legal battle, Peace Now said, the Israeli authorities announced last year that the land, where the settlement is built, is state property.

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