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Israel to confiscate Palestinian land for settlement project in central West Bank

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This picture taken on September 27, 2018 shows Israel's controversial barrier separating the Jewish settlement of Neve Yaakov (foreground) in the northern area of East Jerusalem al-Quds and the Palestinian neighborhood of al-Ram (background) in the occupied West Bank. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli authorities plan to confiscate thousands of square meters of private Palestinian land in the central part of the West Bank to construct a settlement in violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions condemning the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement expansion policies in the occupied territories.

The Palestinian National Bureau for the Defense of Land and Settlement Resistance said in a statement on Thursday that the Israeli Ministry of Finance had issued building permits for a settlement project, which would expropriate 139 dunams (139,000 square meters) of Palestinian land from Dayr Dibwan city.

The statement added that Israeli officials aimed to connect Ma'ale Mikhmas and Mitzpe Dan settlements through the confiscation.

It further noted that the Israeli regime had advanced plans for the construction of 2,500 settler units near Efrat settlement, located 12 kilometers south of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement, condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s latest plan to confiscate more Palestinian land.

“This decision affirms that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu [‘s] administration is pressing ahead with its land theft and settlement expansion policies, ignoring international outcry over such practices, and hell-bent to exterminate the [so-called] two-state solution,” the statement pointed out.

The ministry then called on regional and international institutions in addition to the international community to not just release statements in condemnation of Israeli settlements or express concerns over the fate of the so-called two-state solution, but to oblige Israel as an occupying regime to adhere to international peace, comply with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 and end its occupation of Palestinian territories.

Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

This general view shows Israel's controversial separation barrier between the occupied West Bank village of al-Zaayem and Israel's largest Jewish settlement Ma'ale Adumim (background) on September 27, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.

Trump backtracked on Washington’s support for a “two-state solution” in 2017, saying he would support any solution favored by both sides.

“Looking at two-state or one-state, I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one both parties like. I can live with either one,” the US president said during a joint press conference with Netanyahu in Washington on February 15, 2017.

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