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Palestine condemns Israeli regime’s 'biggest land heist' in West Bank

This undated file picture shows armed Israeli soldiers and a group of Palestinians in an open area of Qaryut village in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has condemned Israel’s latest decision to seize more Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank in defiance of international outcry over the Tel Aviv regime’s land expropriation policies, describing it as “the biggest land heist.”

The ministry, in a statement released on Monday, slammed the Israeli officials’ plan to seize more than 700 dunams (172 acres) of private land in Qaryut village, located 28 kilometers southeast of Nablus, to expand Eli settlement.

“We have always warned of the seriousness of the colonial settlement plan targeting the southwestern area of Nablus. It is aimed at establishing a huge settlement bloc that will be linked to settlements in Salfit governorate,” the statement read, describing the measure as “the biggest land heist and annexation of large parts from the occupied West Bank.”

“Israel is taking advantage of full American support for its expansionist colonial plans. It continues to undermine any chance to achieve peace on the basis of a [so-called] two-state solution, whilst deepening the abhorrent apartheid system in Palestine and transforming Palestinian areas in the West Bank into isolated communities in the midst of a huge ocean of settlements,” the foreign ministry pointed out.

The ministry then warned that the Israeli regime is actually pressing ahead with its plan of West Bank annexation and unilaterally determining the future of the final status of the so-called peace negotiations.

The Tel Aviv regime is demoing the status of the Palestinian issue as well as Palestinians’ rights and their just and legitimate cause to a trifling matter of people in need of relief programs and economic projects, it added.

The Palestinian foreign ministry also expressed surprise over the international community’s failure to take concrete actions against the Israeli regime’s activities, and sufficing to statements and condemnations.

“The failure of the international community and the United Nations to assume their political and legal responsibilities undermines the world order and its credibility,” it said.

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

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council in December 2016 adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including 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.

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