Israeli Minister of Defense, Moshe Ya’alon, announced on Sunday that works began for the largest project of expanding the settlement bloc of Gush Etzion, in the south of the West Bank.He confirmed that a 984-dunum area of land in southern and west of Bethlehem were seized last week for the benefit of this project, according to WAFA.

Israeli authorities, last Thursday, announced a decision to confiscate about 1,000 dunams (250 acres) of private Palestinian land in the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem.

Deputy mayor of al-Khader Ismail Issa told Ma’an News Agency that high-level Israeli military commanders and Civil Administration officers, along with a group of settlers, toured private Palestinian fields in areas known locally as Khallat al-Fahm, al-Zaytouna and al-Absiyya.

They left yellow posters reading “State properties! No entry.”