Israel seized 27,000 decares of land in West Bank since 7 Oct.

Israel seized 27,000 decares of land in West Bank since 7 Oct.
As well as carrying out atrocities in the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities have gone on to seize land illegally in the West Bank.
3 min read
31 March, 2024
Settlements in the West Bank, where Israel has confiscated swathes of land, are deemed illegal under international law [Getty/file photo]

Israeli forces have seized at least 27,000 dunams of land (27 square kilometres) since Tel Aviv launched its deadly military campaign in Gaza on October 7, the Colonisation and Wall Resistance Commission (CWRC) said on Saturday.

The confiscated land includes 15,000 dunums seized under the guise of adjusting the boundaries of natural reserves in Jericho and the Jordan Valley, as well as 11,000 dunums through three orders declaring them state lands in Jerusalem and Nablus, according to Moayad Shaaban, the Commission’s president as cited by the New Arab’s Arabic-language website, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

"[Israel] makes use of its fierce hostility towards our people in the Gaza Strip by carrying out massive confiscation operations of Palestinian land, affecting 27,000 decares of Palestinian territories," Shaaban said in a statement marking Palestine's Land Day.

The commission also said that 230 dunums had been seized through 24 seizure orders for military purposes, preventing Palestinian access to thousands of dunums in the future.

The remainder of the land was seized to make way for buffer zones established around illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Shaaban warned against expanding this plan to include other settlements, thus isolating more lands and preventing Palestinians from accessing them under military and security pretexts. After October 7, Israeli authorities studied a total of 52 structural plans for the purpose of building a total of close to 10,000 settlement units in an area of 6,852 dunums, mostly concentrated in the Jerusalem area.

The commission stated that the area of Palestinian lands under occupation reached 2,380 square kilometres, equivalent to 42 percent of the total West Bank area, and 69 percent of the classified Area C.

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Shaaban also pointed out that since October 7, Israeli forces and settlers have carried out at least 9,700 attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the occupied West Bank.

This comes as Palestinians marked the 48th anniversary of Land Day, as well as almost half of a year of Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip which has killed at least 32,782 Palestinians- mostly women and children.

Land Day commemorates the Israeli killing of six unarmed Palestinians who were protesting against the seizure of large swatches of land in the  Galilee region on March 30 1976.

Land Day is remembered every year by Palestinians worldwide and is seen among the most significant symbols of the Palestinian national struggle. 

Throughout its occupation of Palestinian territory since 1967, Israel has seized and confiscated swathes of Palestinian land. In recent years, land in the West Bank has been taken and given to make way for settlements, which are deemed illegal under international law.