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3,455 settlements units built on private Palestinian land

Palestinian demonstrators hold national flags and placards during a protest against Jewish settlements in West Bank on 26 March 2017 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]
Palestinian demonstrators hold national flags and placards during a protest against Jewish settlements in West Bank on 26 March 2017 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

Data issued by the Israeli Civil Administration indicated that 3,455 settlement units were built on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported yesterday that all of these buildings – which include settler homes and the Israeli occupation’s state and army institutions – were built without obtaining the necessary permits from the civil administration, and are therefore illegal.

The newspaper also pointed out that Israel’s planning and organising institutions are seeking to rectify the matter and issue permits for the 3,455 units by means of the Regulation Law, which will retroactively legalise settlements built without permits on privately owned Palestinian land.

Read more: Israel annexes land used for military training

The Public Prosecution submitted its response to two petitions filed by Palestinians and human rights organisations against the Regulation Law.

The prosecution demanded that the petitions be rejected, claiming, “The confiscation is a fair and reasonable humanitarian response to a real hardship suffered by Israeli residents,” claiming that the continuation of the status quo “forces thousands of settler families to live in uncertainty”.

The Civil Administration has indicated that the 3,455 units are divided into three sets. The first includes 1,285 settlement units built on privately owned Palestinian land following the signing of the Oslo Agreement in 1993.

Read more: Israel demolishes Palestinians homes to expand settlements

The second set consists of 1,048 settlement units build on privately owned Palestinian land, which was mistakenly declared as state land.

The third set includes 1,222 settlement units built more than 20 years ago and before the signing of the Oslo Agreement. It was built during the period when the building and administration laws were not implemented by the Civil Administration.

According to Israeli estimates, of the thousands of settlement units built on private Palestinian land permits can be obtained for only 1,285 units, which are scattered in 74 settlements in the West Bank.

It added that 543 units (of the 1,285) are built on private land registered and recognised even by the civil administration.

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