Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of the Israeli settlements file in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, said the Israeli military and its “Civil Administration” have decided to illegally annex hundreds of Dunams of privately-owned Palestinian lands near Nablus and Ramallah.

Daghlas said the lands belong to villagers of Jaloud, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and the villagers of al-Mogheer and Turmus Ayya, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

“The occupation forces issued the decision to steal hundreds of Dunams of land from Jaloud village, south of Nablus, in addition to the villages of Turmus Ayya and al-Mogheer, north of Ramallah”, Daghlas said, adding that, “The Israeli army said the decision comes out of so-called military considerations.”

A significant segment of the hundreds of Dunams that Israel is illegally confiscating from Jaloud village, and from Tumors Ayya, will actually be used for paving a road linking Shilo illegal colony with an outpost east of it.

The road that Israel intends to pave extends approximately six kilometers, allowing future illegal annexation of more Palestinian agricultural lands, under the pretext of security considerations, thus paving the way for more colonialist activities.

Daghlas said that the Israeli decision comes while colonialist Israeli settlers are escalating their attacks against Palestinians, and land theft of Palestinian lands. He said the order even contradicts the previous military decision to void military annexation orders issued by the army in 1978, under order number (T/5/78), that targeted 1705 Dunams of lands owned by Jaloud villagers.

The decision to void the annexation orders was made on February, 24, 2016, and stated that the military would return 1675 Dunams to the Palestinians in Jaloud, while keeping 30 Dunams under the military’s control.

That decision was made after the Jaloud Local Council filed an appeal to the Israeli High Court, and was filed after the Israel army dismantled its military base, that was built on Palestinian lands. But instead of returning it to its righteous Palestinian owners, it gave it to colonist settlers.

The new Israeli annexation order comes while the Supreme Court in occupied Jerusalem is still looking into similar cases, filed by Jaloud villagers through Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights, an Israeli human rights group, against illegal Israeli colonies built on villagers’ lands.

“This is a very serious and dangerous decision; it aims at establishing a major colonialist bloc through the illegal confiscation of thousands of Dunams of Palestinian lands, after declaring them ‘state lands’. What is happening in Ein Jaloud, is part of that process,” Daghlas stated.

“Israel is also planning to retroactively legalize colonialist outposts, established on villagers’ lands in Ein Jaloud,” he added, “This decision is an attempt to override the outstanding cases with the Supreme Court.”

Illegal Israeli colonizers managed to steal thousands of Dunams of Palestinian lands in previous years, and planted 2000 Dunams with grapevines and olive orchards, after the army granted them control of lands, that were originally annexed under the pretext of “security considerations and military use.”