Peace Now: “40% of West Bank settlements are built on private Palestinian property”

The Israeli Peace Now movement held a press conference in Jerusalem on
Tuesday and said that it found in a new study on settlements that
approximately 40% of the settlements are constructed on private
Palestinian property.

The movement reported that settlements and industrial zones that belong to the settlements in the occupied West Bank are built on 157.000 Dunams, 61.000 Dunams (approximately 38%) of these settlements are built on private Palestinian property.
 
The study revealed 86.4 percent of the Ma'ali Adumim and 35.1 percent of Ariel settlement are constructed on private Palestinian property.

Peace Now said that Israel is violating the property rights of the Palestinian residents in order to construct and expand the settlements.

According to the study, the “state-owned lands” in the occupied West Bank amount to 87000 Dunams, including 2000 Dunams declared owned by Israel, and that only 2000 Dunams are Jewish owned.

Moreover, the movement said that Elon Moreh settlement, was constructed in 1979 on 700 Dunams of Palestinian property belonging to Nablus residents.

The lands, where the settlement is, were seized by Israeli for military purposes. The military order to seize the lands was issued by the then-commander of the Israeli army in the West Bank, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, who is now minister for infrastructure.
 
Leaders of Peace Now movement said in their press conference that these figures show serious indictment of the entire settlement movement in the occupied territories, and that Israel has violated its own laws by confiscating private Palestinian property in order to build settlements on them.

The movement added that the settlers are not only guilty of larceny, but are also guilty of stealing collective assets belonging to Palestinian residents and villagers who have been disinherited of their privately-owned property.

Peace now summarized its report in the following points;

• 130 settlements were constructed either entirely or partially on private Palestinian land
• Around 60 thousand Dunams of the land used by the settlements is actually private Palestinian land
• Private Palestinian land accounts for 40% of land used for settlements
• Construction of settlements of private Palestinian land is illegal according to the Supreme Court ruling, (Elon More precedent of 1979), and thus cannot be authorized. The result is that not only were the outposts constructed in an illegal manner, but also a large number of the veteran settlements were established on private Palestinian land and are thus illegal.
• The data presented here has been hidden by the State for many years, for fear that the revelation of these facts could damage it’s international relations. Only recently did Peace Now manage to obtain this material.

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