FEB. 11, 2017
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces delivered confiscation notices on Friday for 275 dunams (69 acres) of private Palestinian land on the outskirts of the village of Beituniya in the western part of the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.
Official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that farmers from the villages of Beit Ur al-Tahta and Beit Ur al-Fuqa found notices in the fields where Israeli forces had seemingly scattered them around. The notices reportedly read that the lands would be confiscated for “urgent military purposes.”
The notices, according to Wafa, were found near an Israeli military checkpoint on Route 443 west of Ramallah.
A spokesperson from COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, was not immediately available for comment.
According to the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ), at least 60 percent of the village is under threat of confiscation and isolation owing to the construction of Israel’s separation wall. The land confiscated by Israeli authorities has been repurposed for the construction of illegal Israeli settlements, ARIJ said.
The lands isolated by the separation barrier have also been used for Israeli settlements and Israeli military outposts, as well as other Israeli-controlled spaces that prevent Palestinians from developing or living in the area.
ARIJ also noted that the separation barrier has been erected close to the urbanized areas of the village, in effect preventing any expansion in the area to accommodate Beituniya’s population.
“This move will create a new reality of increased urban population and population density given the lack of urban space for expansion and new construction,” ARIJ said.