Israeli government funds Zionist body that has seized private Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank in recent years and established settlements on them, in direct contravention of the law, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper revealed yesterday.
- The Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization is a non-governmental body vested with government functions and powers to act for the establishment and development of settlements.
“Every year, the government allocates millions of dollars for the division which ends up in the end in favour of the settlements.”
According to the paper, in addition to the huge budgets, the division has enjoyed considerable weight with respect to forming the settlement policy in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli government has imposed a state of ambiguity on the division’s work, and refuses to discuss its activities, despite the Israeli opposition requests, and this indicates that the division is a back yard of the government, to carry out its illegal work
The Settlement division has used Palestinian land to create businesses, expand settlements, and transfer the lands’ ownership.
In a report, Israeli advocacy group Peace Now said the World Zionist Organisation “operate without authority and provide support and assistance to illegal activities. They also mislead the settlers themselves and give them the feeling that the construction is legal.”
“The government, for its part, helps the settlers by retroactively legalising the illegal construction in many cases.”