Palestinian sources reported that the Israeli army issued written land confiscation memos to some residents of the city of Beit Jala and the villages of Al-Walajeh and Al-Khader.

Adnan Al-Atrash, chair of the Land Defense Committee in the village said Israeli army delivered memos in Arabic and in Hebrew with a map attached showing an aerial photo of the land to be confiscated.

Lands to be confiscated are approximately 9 Dunams (2.3 acres) and the owners were given one week to ask for compensation for their land.

Al-Atrash said ‘most of these lands belong to people from Beit Jala and they have documents that prove that it is their property.  The dangerous part of this is that the Israeli authorities did not allow them to object to the expropriation, but gave them one week to ask for compensation.’

‘Most of these areas are planted with trees, Israel wants to confiscate it because it is close to Jerusalem.  The do not want to use it for Military purposes as they say, but to link Jerusalem with the southern settlement blocs of Gush Etzion, Bitar and Efrat’ he added.

Khaled Al-Azzeh, chair of the popular committee for the defense of land the resistance to settlements in Bethlehem area said, that the Israeli custodian of ‘the absentees property’ Moshe Ma’ier issued an confiscation order of 7 other Dunams (2 acres) in the same area along the settlement road number 60, between Beit Jala and Al-Khader for the construction of the West Bank separation wall.

This would turn Bethlehem area into a ‘Ghetto’ Al-Azzeh added, said adding that Israel uses deception as a way to confiscate land without giving the owners a chance to object.

He said, ‘The Israeli military command announces in the local newspaper in Arabic about their intention to confiscate a piece of land, but they mention a wrong number of the section and the land, which will not foil attempt to object.’