Tags: israel | west bank | farmland

Israel: West Bank Farmland Will be Appropriated; Palestinians Upset

Image: Israel: West Bank Farmland Will be Appropriated; Palestinians Upset
Sheep graze in Jordan Valley near the West Bank city of Jericho January 20, 2016. (Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)

By    |   Friday, 22 Jan 2016 12:39 PM

After Israel confirmed Thursday it would appropriate 380 acres of West Bank farmland, Palestinian officials have moved for a United Nations Security Council resolution declaring the settlements illegal.

"Settlement activities are a violation of international law and run counter to the public pronouncements of the government of Israel supporting a two-state solution to the conflict," said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a statement, Reuters reported.

"We believe they're fundamentally incompatible with a two-state solution and call into question, frankly, the Israeli government's commitment to a two-state solution," U.S. Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner said similarly.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said that, "Israel is stealing land specially in the Jordan Valley under the pretext it wants to annex it. This should be a reason for a real and effective intervention by the international community to end such a flagrant and grave aggression which kills all chances of peace."

The farmland, located in the Jordan Valley south of Jericho, is the largest appropriation since 2014, when Israel appropriated nearly 1,000 acres.

"Israel has previously used a law that dates back to the Ottoman era to declare property that has not been used as state land, rights groups say, though it was not clear if the same law would be invoked in this case," Agence France-Presse reported.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said he maintains a belief in a two-state solution.

"You have to sit down and negotiate," he said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "We’re willing to do it and they are not."

A spokesman for the PLO replied, "Israel wants negotiations for the sake of negotiations. It’s a waste of time."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has shunned direct negotiation with the Israelis, opting for forums like the U.N.

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After Israel confirmed Thursday it would appropriate 380 acres of West Bank farmland, Palestinian officials have moved for a United Nations Security Council resolution declaring the settlements illegal.
israel, west bank, farmland
313
2016-39-22
Friday, 22 Jan 2016 12:39 PM
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