On Wednesday, the Israeli organization Peace Now issued a report sating that 32% of the land annexed for the construction of Israeli settlements and outposts is private Palestinian property.The report added that 24% of the land on which settlements are actually built is also privately owned by Palestinians. Though not clearly stated in the report, the remaining 68% of land on which settlements are built in the West Bank is common land owned by the Palestinian Authority as opposed to specific families.
Peace Now stated that the figures are deemed official and were obtained from the so-called Israeli Civil Administration. They added that the specific figures were withheld in order to conceal the fact that approximately one-third of ‘settlement land’ was established on private Palestinian land.
In defense, the Civil Administration has claimed that the Peace Now report is inaccurate, but did not clarify exactly which parts are inaccurate or attempt to correct them.
Israel has long maintained that the settlements in the West Bank are built on ‘state lands,’ or areas not registered in anyone’s name, and that no private property has been seized for settlement building. However, the facts on the ground clearly show that thousands of dunnams of Palestinian land has been annexed for the construction of Israeli settlements, as well as the Wall which segregates Palestinians from each other and their farmland.
Both the construction of settlements and the Wall in the occupied West Bank is illegal under international law.