Israel confirms it plans to seize West Bank land

Published: January 21, 2016
A view shows Jordan Valley near the West Bank city of Jericho January 20, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

A view shows Jordan Valley near the West Bank city of Jericho January 20, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Israel confirmed on Thursday it was planning to appropriate a large tract of fertile land in the occupied West Bank, close to Jordan, a move likely to exacerbate tensions with Western allies and already drawing international condemnation.

In an email sent to Reuters, COGAT, a unit of the Defense Ministry, said the political decision to seize the territory had been taken and “the lands are in the final stages of being declared state lands”.

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Israel’s Army Radio said on Wednesday that Israel plans to appropriate a large tract of agricultural land in the occupied West Bank, a move that has angered Palestinians and is almost certain to draw international criticism.

The report said the land, covering 154 hectares (380 acres), was in the fertile Jordan Valley close to Jericho, an area where Israel already has many settlement farms built on land Palestinians seek for their own state.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization, described Israel’s reported move as a violation of international law. She challenged the international community to hold Israel to account.

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“Israel is stealing land specially in the Jordan Valley under the pretext it wants to annex it,” she told Reuters. “This should be a reason for a real and effective intervention by the international community to end such a flagrant and grave aggression which kills all chances of peace.”

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Reader Comments (3)

  • ujjwalkumarray
    Jan 21, 2016 - 7:26PM

    Hindu of sind are deprived class.government of Pakistan should give autonomous home land in tharparkar adjacent area in sind.same to be given in panja sahib adjacent area in Punjab for sikh.Recommend

  • John B
    Jan 21, 2016 - 8:29PM

    East of Jordan for Palestinians and Undividened Jerusalem have been the policy of Israel for a long time. There is unlikely to be a TWO state solution based on reality on the ground. The time and geographical demography of two state solution have long passed as unified Kashmir.

    The solution to Isareal-Palestinian issue is a single state with equal representation to Plaestinians but that contradicts with Israel narrative ideology . No government in Israel is going to dismantle the settlement and Israelis themselves do not know how to arrive at a solution let alone others.

    The land in question is a small tract on the big picture of the issue but it will spiral into mountain in politics. Recommend

  • John B
    Jan 22, 2016 - 6:07AM

    To understand what the Israel position is, see this video. It is not some think tank discussion.. It affirms what I have been saying.

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