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Israel grabs thousands of acres of Palestinian-owned land in West Bank

This file picture shows a view of NabI Musa mosque, which is believed to contain the tomb of Prophet Moses (PBUH) and lies close to the city of Ariha in the eastern part of the occupied West Bank. (Photo via Twitter)

Israeli authorities have seized thousands of acres of Palestinian-owned land in the eastern flank of the West Bank, as Tel Aviv continues to press ahead with its illegal settlement expansion activities and land grab policies across the occupied territories despite the global outcry.

On Wednesday, the so-called Israeli Civil Administration ordered the confiscation of 22,000 dunams (over 5436 acres) of land in Nabi Musa area, which is believed to contain the tomb of Prophet Moses (PBUH) and lies close to the city of Ariha.

Earlier this month, fifteen European countries expressed concern over the regime’s plans for construction of nearly 4,500 new settler units in the West Bank.

The move is in clear violation of international law and stands in the way of a just and lasting solution to the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict, said the foreign ministries of France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, and Sweden.

“The new housing units would constitute an additional obstacle to the [so-called] two-state solution. Israeli settlements are in clear violation of international law and stand in the way of a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace” to the crisis, they stated in a joint statement on May 13.

This plan, as well as demolitions and evictions affecting the Palestinian populations in East al-Quds and Area C, directly threaten the viability of a future Palestinian state, the statement read.

Between 600,000 and 750,000 Israelis occupy over 250 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

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

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014, with Israel’s continued settlement expansion emerging as a key sticking point.

All Israeli settlements are deemed illegal under international law as they are built on the occupied land. 

The UN Security Council has time and again condemned the occupying regime’s diabolic settler-colonialism project in its umpteen resolutions.

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