Israel reportedly set to take 3,000 acres of Palestinian village land near Jerusalem

Residents of West Bank’s Beit Iksa say they received orders giving them until 2017 to leave land; IDF has no comment

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

A Palestinian encampment outside the village of Beit Iksa, near central Jerusalem (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash 90)
A Palestinian encampment outside the village of Beit Iksa, near central Jerusalem (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash 90)

IDF soldiers gave out orders Saturday informing Palestinians of Israel’s plans to confiscate 3,176 acres (12,852 dunams) around the West Bank village of Beit Iksa for military purposes, Palestinian media reported.

Beit Iksa residents said to Ma’an news agency that soldiers at a checkpoint distributed the orders, signed by head of the IDF Central Command Gen. Nitzan Alon.

The orders gave the residents until the end of 2017 to leave the land in question. They also said that soldiers informed the Beit Iksa residents that an IDF liaison would come on Monday to explain which parcels of land would be confiscated.

Beit Iksa village council head Saada al-Khatib told Ma’an that Israeli officials said that a confiscation order was originally given in 2012, and the current orders reiterate the previous one.

The Ma’an report features images it claims show the order itself, as well as maps delineating the areas to be expropriated.

The IDF spokesman’s office would not comment on the report.

Beit Iksa sits in Area B between the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot and Mevasseret Zion. It has around 1,700 residents.

The village is sensitive for several reasons. It is located less than a kilometer from Route 1, the main artery running from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. In addition, it is surrounded by land purchased by Jews before the establishment of Israel, and captured by Jordan during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.

In 2009, Beit Iksa lost 20 dunams to the high-speed train project being built from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

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