It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
The Israeli Army decided to confiscates 1,700 dunums of land owned by Palestinians farmers for the expansion of a settlement near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, Israeli sources reported on Monday.
One acre is equal to four dunums.
According to sources, farmers have filed nine appeals to the Israeli court throughout the past several months; the court dismissed the first eight, but accepted the most recent, and decided to allow the settlers to take over the land to expand the settlement of Efrat.
The Efrat settlement council told the Israeli online daily Haaretz, that the land will be used to construct 2,500 new homes for settlers.
Efrat is the home of 9,000 Israeli settlers, and is part of the Kifar Atzion settlement block, which is the largest illegal settlement bloc in the southern West Bank.
The settlement council of Efrat stated that they will try to get the approval for the new homes from the current government, especially now since outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak agreed to build the illegal wall around those lands in order to annex them to the Israeli side of the wall, the council added.
Bethlehem city is completely surrounded from three sides by Israeli settlements. On the fourth side of Bethlehem, there is a massive and sprawling annexation wall.
In 2002, the International Court of Justice in the Hague voted 14 votes to one, determining that Israel's "Separation Barrier" is illegal, according to international law.
The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 has been repeatedly referenced by the United Nations to infer that any Israeli settlement on occupied Palestinian land, which includes all "Jewish"settlements in the West Bank, as a violation of international law, and the UN has called for the immediate disbandment of all settlements.
Many international scholars, lawyers and peace activists view Israel's expansion of settlements as the biggest impediment to peace and stability in the region.