The Israeli Army decided to expropriate large areas of Palestinians land in the Bethlehem district in order to expand the Efrat illegal settlement, built on lands illegally annexed from residents of Al Khader District, south of Bethlehem. Al Khader Mayor, Ramzi Salah, stated that one of Al Khader farmers found a military order, placed by the soldiers on his land, informing him that Israel wants to annex large areas of farmlands under the pretext of “providing security” for the nearby Efrat illegal settlement.

The military order did not specify how many Dunams of land would be expropriated for the expansion of the illegal settlement originally built on privately owned Palestinians lands.

Salah added that he, and other farmers from the town, headed to the city council in Al Khader to ask for legal advice.

The lands Israel intends to confiscate belong to several families from Al Khader.

In 2009, Israel confiscated more than 1700 Dunams of Palestinian lands to expand the northern part of the Efrat settlement.