The Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported that Israeli authorities, on Wednesday, issued military orders to seize more Palestinian land for military purposes in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.

Hasan Brijiyeh, a local anti-settlement and anti-wall activist, told WAFA that Israeli authorities in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, south of Bethlehem, issued notices seizing unspecified areas of land belonging to Palestinians in Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour cities and Bethlehem-district towns and villages of al-Khader, Battir, al-Jab’a, al-Walaja, Artas, Wadi Rahhal and Wadi al-Nis.

According to the Israeli anti-settlement group, Peace Now, “Over the years, Israel has used a number of legal and bureaucratic procedures in order to appropriate West Bank lands, with the primary objective of establishing settlements and providing land reserves for them.”

The Israeli peace group asserts that Israel uses “primarily these five methods: seizure for military purposes; declaration of state lands; seizure of absentee property; confiscation for public needs; and initial registration, Israel has managed to take over about 50% of the lands in the West Bank, barring the local Palestinian public from using them.”

Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam