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Israel approves largest seizure of West Bank lands in 3 decades

July 3, 2024 at 5:00 pm

A general view shows the road leading to an Israeli military base which is built on confiscated land from the Palestinian village of Jiftlik in the occupied West Bank on April 16, 2024 [HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images

The Israeli army seized a large area of ​​Palestinian land south of Nablus in the northern West Bank, according to a Palestinian government agency on Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The Occupation authorities decided to seize a total of 12,715 dunams (3,141 acres) of land belonging to citizens in the village of Aqraba, south-east of Nablus,” the Colonisation and Wall Resistance Commission said in a statement.

The Commission said Israel designated the seized territory as “state land” to “convert citizens’ lands into an expanding settlement project”.

The decision was “part of a larger plan to control the eastern slopes of the West Bank, particularly those adjacent to the Jordan Valley and its outskirts by seizing vast areas in this region,” the statement said.

Since the beginning of 2024, Israeli authorities have issued four announcements converting private Palestinian lands into state lands, thereby prohibiting Palestinian citizens from accessing, cultivating or reclaiming them, the Commission noted.

The statement indicated that the area declared as “state land” in these announcements totals 24,000 dunams (5,930 acres).

According to the Commission, the total area of ​​land seized under various designations since the start of 2024 has reached 39,000 dunams (9,637 acres).

On Tuesday, the Commission’s semi-annual report highlighted the establishment of 17 new Jewish-only settlement outposts, while the Israeli government granted legal status to 11 other outposts.

Settlement outposts are small communities established by illegal Israeli settlers on privately owned Palestinian land without approval from the Israeli government.

Estimates indicate that around 700,000 Israeli settlers live in roughly 300 illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

All Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories are considered illegal under international law.

READ: Israel confiscates 24m square metres of land in West Bank for illegal settlements