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Israeli Occupation Government Annexes Palestinian Lands Around Illegal Settlements in the West Bank, a B'Tselem Report


B’Tselem: Israel annexing lands around West Bank settlements

Date: 11 / 09 / 2008  Time:  09:33
Bethelehem – Ma’an –

The Israeli occupation government and settlers have de facto annexed “tens of thousands of dunams” of land to settlements located east of the separation wall in the West Bank, a new report by the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem says.

The report deals with the way settlements, through various means, block Palestinians’ access to their land.

“Two modus operandi stand out,” says the report, ”1) settlers, and sometimes members of Israel’s security forces, violently attack and harass Palestinians who venture near settlements; and 2) erecting fences and other physical and electronic devices around the lands, blocking Palestinian access to them. In many cases, the authorities turn a blind eye to unlicensed closure of lands, systemically avoiding their duty to enforce the law on criminal settlers.”

Some 70,000 settlers live east of the Israeli separation barrier. The barrier is a 400-kilometer network of concrete walls, electric fenses, and watchtowers snaking through the West Bank. Hundreds of thousands more Israelis live in illegally-built settlements on the western side of the wall.

B’Tselem also highlights the use of military orders to seize land from Palestinians. By designating land around 12 specific settlements “Special Security Areas,” Israel has fenced off 4,558 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre) of Palestinian land, more than doubling the size of the land, and closing of lands that are largely privately owned by Palestinians.

Be'Tselem: settlement expansion has increased in the past years

Thursday September 11, 2008 09:42 by Rami Almeghari - IMEMC & Agencies

The Israeli center for human rights in the occupied territories (Betselem), reported that the Israeli occupation government has annexed tens of thousands of dunums of Palestinian-owned lands to Israeli settlements, east of the separation barrier in the West Bank, over the past few years.

The Be'Tselem's report revealed that the settlement expansion has been inconsistent with the law, as many of the annexations have been completed by military orders.

Most of those badly damaged people have been Palestinian farmers as they have been deprived of farming or reaching their farm lands, the report hinted.

Israeli settlements building or expansion are still going on in the occupied Palestinian territories, mainly in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem. Israel insists on keeping these settlement blocs, though the international law describes them illegal.

Also, Israeli settlements constitute a stumbling block for peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, as they would derogate borders of future Palestinian state.

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