Israel makes largest land seizure in 3 decades

In 2024 alone, about 23.7 square km of the West Bank lands have been declared “State Lands” by Israel….reports Asian Lite News

Israeli authorities have approved the appropriation of 12.7 square km of land in the occupied West Bank, marking the largest single appropriation in about three decades, an Israeli settlement monitor group has said.

Peace Now, an Israeli-based settlement watchdog, said in a statement on Wednesday that the Custodian of the State’s Property in the Civil Administration, an Israeli body that approves construction in the West Bank, recently declared the seizure of this large land in the Jordan Valley, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the group, this is the largest area designated for appropriation since the Oslo Accords, a set of peace agreements signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993.

In 2024 alone, about 23.7 square km of the West Bank lands have been declared “State Lands” by Israel, reported Peace Now.

The declaration of “State Land” in the West Bank is a bureaucratic procedure used by the Israeli government to revoke Palestinian ownership rights to the declared lands, which would be leased exclusively to Israelis, for reshaping land use and building settlements.

Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war and expanded settlements there ever since. The international community widely considers the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, where the Palestinians wish to establish their future state, an obstacle to achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The move is likely to stoke further tensions in the region, which is already experiencing increasing violence following Israel’s onslaught in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for Hamas’ attack on southern Israel on October 7 last year.

Hamas consults with mediators

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) said that it has consulted with the Qatari and Egyptian mediators to end the war with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, Hamas said “We exchanged some ideas with the mediator brothers to stop the aggression against our Palestinian people,” reported Xinhua news agency.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that Israel received Hamas’ response from the mediators.

He confirmed that Israel will study the Hamas’ response and will respond to it.

Israeli media reported that the new Hamas response was the best one given so far, saying it constitutes a basis for moving forward.

However, the outlets said that “some issues still need clarification, such as the (Israeli) presence in the Philadelphia axis (in Gaza) and the issue of prisoners.”

A few days ago, Hamas said that it received a new offer from the US to resume the indirect negotiation with Israel to reach a ceasefire deal.

UN humanitarians warned in a report on Tuesday that around 2,50,000 people are expected to face displacement as Israeli authorities issued new evacuation orders in the Khan Younis area of Gaza.

UN agency assisting Palestine refugees, UNRWA, said that “chaos and panic” are spreading in southern Gaza following the orders.

Gazans fleeing the southern city were forced to erect shelters at the water’s edge because displacement camps were already packed at the coast.

A few weeks ago, Khan Younis was left deserted after intense Israeli bombardment. But many families with few other options went there after the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) moved into Rafah at the beginning of May, the report stated.

“It’s another devasting blow to the humanitarian response here, it’s another devasting blow to the people, the families on the ground. It seems that they’ve been forcibly displaced again and again,” said UNRWA Senior Communications Officer Louise Wateridge.

Those forced to move now had a series of “impossible” decisions to make, she added.

“How do parents decide where to go; where is there to go? Already by this morning, just to the middle Gaza area, along the coastal road, you can see the makeshift shelters right up to the shoreline, right up to the water coming in. It is absolutely packed with families who have already had to move,” Wateridge said.

The UNRWA officer noted that heavy bombardment has continued “in the north, middle and south areas of the Gaza Strip…no place is safe. Already on the ground, we are seeing families move away from this area. There is more chaos and panic spreading on the ground.”

Despite a lack of fuel and safety, Wateridge insisted that the UN agency has continued to deliver water, food parcels, flour, nappies, mattresses, tarpaulins and healthcare.

ALSO READ: UAE showcases nuclear regulatory strength at IAEA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *