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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Israel in West Bank- BBC

Israel to take over West Bank land

Prefabricated homes are seen in a Jewish settlement known as Gvaot. Photo: 31 August 2014 Local Israeli settlements said they hoped to build on the land
Israel has announced plans to expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land in the West Bank. 

The decision to appropriate land south of Bethlehem is believed to be the largest seizure by Israel in 30 years.

The military-run local administration said it was a response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teenagers in the area in June.

Palestinians said diplomatic action should be taken against Israel. The US urged Israel to reverse the move.

'Counterproductive' move
  The decision was announced on Sunday by the Israeli army department charged with administering civil affairs in the West Bank.

The takeover of the land near the Etzion Jewish settlement clears the way for construction of a new settlement named Gvaot, according to Israeli media.

Local Israeli settlements said they hoped to build on the land, which Palestinian officials said included many olive groves.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the world community should hold Israel accountable for "the ongoing Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem", according to the AFP news agency.

Meanwhile, a US state department official was quoted by Reuters as describing the Israeli move as "counterproductive to Israel's stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians".
The Palestinians want their state to include all land captured by Israel in 1967, but some 500,000 Jews now live in more than 200 settlements and outposts in the West Bank - including East Jerusalem.

The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

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