Palestine, on Wednesday, accused Israel of exploiting most territory of “Area C” in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu News Agency reports.
“The Israeli occupation directly exploits 76 per cent of the total area classified (C),” the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said in a statement marking the 46th anniversary of the Land Day.
Under the 1995 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was divided into three portions – Area A, B and C – with “Area C” under the administrative and security control of Israel, until a final status agreement is reached with the Palestinians.
The Land Day is an annual day that marks events that took place in 1976, when thousands of Palestinians in the Galilee region demonstrated against the seizure of huge tracts of land by the Israeli authorities, prompting Israeli troops to enter the region by force.
According to the statement, 18 per cent of territory in “Area C” was confiscated by Israel for military purposes, while the separation barrier has caused to isolate more than 10 per cent of the West Bank and damaged more than 219 Palestinian communities.
In total, the statement said, Israel “exploits more than 85 per cent of the total land area in historic Palestine (the West Bank, Gaza and Israel).”
It also estimated that about 712,815 Israeli settlers live in 151 settlements in the West Bank, citing that settlers had carried out 1,621 attacks against Palestinians and their property in 2021.
The statement noted that more than 12,000 settlement units were approved by the Israeli government in the occupied West Bank in 2021, while 1,058 Palestinian buildings were demolished.