Israel hijacks immense stretch of land in occupied West Bank

Israel hijacks large area of land in occupied West Bank near Palestinian city of Jericho

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A Palestinian man sits on a rock at Jordan Valley near the West Bank city of Jericho, January 21, 2016.

Israel has hijacked tremendous areas of land in the occupied West Bank near the Palestinian city of Jericho and the Dead Sea, Israel’s Army Radio said on Tuesday.

Israel’s Peace Now movement, which monitors illegal Israeli settlements in territories captured in the 1967 invasion of Palestine, said the seizure of over 2 million metres squared (579 acres) is the largest land confiscation in the West Bank area in recent years.

The group said the hijacking “is another illustration of the government’s policy of land confiscation.”

Israel’s occupation and settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is illegal on an international level and contributed to the failure of US-brokered peace talks in 2014.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned the act and called on the international community to press Israel to stop illegal land confiscations.

A map of the confiscated land was tweeted by the Palestine Liberation Organisation on Tuesday.

The seizure of the land would be the largest since August 2014, and larger than the 380 acre area that Israel said in January it planned to seize, an act that sparked international condemnation.

Palestinians fear that Israel’s increased hijacking of Palestinian land and homes will deny them a viable country to live in freely. 

The surge of violence between Isrealis and Palestinians over the past five months has dimmed hopes negotiations could be revived any time soon.

TRTWorld and agencies