Israel confiscates more Palestinian lands to expand illegal settlements

Israeli occupation authorities notified on Tuesday Palestinian farmers that they intend to expropriate land in Tulkarem in occupied West Bank in order to expand illegal Israeli settlement of Avnei Hefetz.

The Israeli occupation authorities informed the Palestinian liaison office that Israel intends to use the land in the village of Shofeh in order to open roads and build playgrounds and other recreational facilities for illegal Jewish settlement.

Palestinian farmers were given 60 days to appeal against the oppressive Israeli decision in the Israeli courts. Of course, it is a failing legal process as always.

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In response to the Israeli notifications, the farmers of Shofeh “expressed real concern over the decision” to “rip them off the land that is their only source of income.”

The farmers said that while they have the documents to prove their ownership of the land, “they do not expect the Israeli courts to be fair to them.”

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Israeli occupation army seized lands from the village in March to build a power station and industrial area to serve the illegal settlement.

Since the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem in 1967, between 700,000 and 800,000 Israeli Jewish settlers have moved into the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, in violation of international law.

The Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported that in 2016 Palestinians experienced the highest number of Israeli demolitions since the group began recording such incidents.

At the same time, Peace now reported that the illegal Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank increased by 34 per cent in 2016, with Israeli authorities initiating construction on 1,814 new settler housing units.