Israel Uses Land-Grab Law to Expropriate Palestinian Farmlands from Nablus Village


A Palestinian youth works in a date palm orchard in the Jordan valley near the West Bank city of Jericho. Reuters/Mohamad Torokman
A Palestinian youth works in a date palm orchard in the Jordan valley near the West Bank city of Jericho. Reuters/Mohamad Torokman (file photo)

NABLUS, February 17, 2017 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities are planning to expropriate Palestinian farmlands belonging to Jalud village, southeast of Nablus, in the northern West Bank for the construction of settlement infrastructure, said a municipal source.

Jalud Local Council said the so-called Israeli Civil Administration issued a notice, approving the expropriation and allocation of farmlands belonging to Jalud villagers to a residential zone in order to construct new commercial structures, public buildings, an open space and road network for the benefit of neighboring settlements.

The farmlands slated to be seized are part of basins 13 and 16, south of the village.

The notice allows Palestinians concerned –in reference to Palestinian landowners- to access the plan within 15 days for the date of publication. However, they are not allowed to petition the plan.

Jalud Local Council said the village has been the target of intensified settlement construction plans designed to ensure settlers’ well-being at the expense of indigenous Palestinians.

Earlier this month, the so-called Israeli Civil Administration approved the construction of a new settlement, east of Shvut Rachel, on an area of 280 dunums seized from the village.

It had also seized approximately 326 dunums from the Jalud and Turmusayya villages to construct road and sewage networks for settlers.

Israel has stepped up the confiscation of privately-owned Palestinian land for illegal settlements since it passed the so-called Legalization Law.

The law, also known as the Regularization or Formalization law, would see thousands of dunums of privately owned Palestinian land seized and dozens of illegal settlement outposts across the West Bank retroactively recognized by the Israeli government.

These outposts were built without official approval from Israeli authorities, but tacitly supported by successive Israeli governments, part of an effort to colonize as much Palestinian land in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as possible. Under international law, all Israeli settlements, including outposts, are illegal.

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