Israeli authorities delivered confiscation notices for hundreds of dunams of Palestinian-owned lands in the Jordan Valley, in the northern occupied West Bank, Thursday evening.
Mutaz Bisharat, a Palestinian official in charge of Jordan Valley’s Israeli settlements file at the Palestinian Authority (PA), told Ma’an News Agency that Israeli authorities delivered the notices to residents in the al-Ras al-Ahmar area in the Jordan Valley.
Bisharat added that about 1,079 dunams (267 acres) are under threat of seizure, pointing out that the notice did not mention reasons of the action.
The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.
International rights organizations consider the continuation of the Israeli campaign which targets Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, whether though confiscations, demolitions or evictions under the pretext of holding military exercises, as a violation of international humanitarian law.
Since the beginning of the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Israel has taken possession of hundreds of thousands of dunams by declaring it state land.
Israeli authorities, in 1968, banned Palestinians from registering their lands, and subsequently took advantage of previously low rates of land registration to take areas currently or previously in use by locals but not registered as such.
The lands are then used to construct Jewish-only settlements on the land, while further confiscation often uses the pretext of the settlements’ security.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.