Israel to strip Palestinian villages near Nablus of swathes of land for settlement expansion
A military order strips three Palestinian villages of around 616 dunams (152 acres) of land so the Eli settlement can be expanded, said Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank.
The impacted villages are Qaryout, As-Sawiya and Al-Lubban Ash-Sharqiya, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
It comes as Nablus and surrounding areas came under a three-week Israeli blockade.
Eli settlement began as several mobile homes placed on a hillside back in 1984 but has since absorbed more Palestinian land making it one of the biggest West Bank settlements.
There are more than 700,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which Palestinians consider the capital of their future independent state.
Settlement activity has grown rapidly in recent decades. At the time of the first Oslo Accord, a 1993 agreement intended to eventually bring about an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict, there were only around 252,000 settlers.
Settlements breach international law and are viewed as a key barrier to achieving a two-state solution.