Israel appropriates 650 acres of West Bank land, declaring it state land

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Israel appropriates some 2,640 dunams or 650 acres of land in the West Bank east of Jerusalem, declaring it state land, meaning it can now be used for development.

The land had previously been determined to be “survey land” where the Civil Administration of the Defense Ministry evaluates whether or not the land is under cultivation or used for pasture and if not, it can be declared state land.

The land in question was previously within the municipal boundaries of the Palestinian towns of Abu Dis and Al-Azariya although it was not registered as private land.

Anyone who seeks to claim ownership of the land now has 45 days to do so in an IDF military court.

Appropriation of the land does not automatically mean that it will be used for settlement construction, although it does make such development a possibility.

The Peace Now organization, which campaigns against the settlements, says that declaring these plots to be state land may be part of plans to advance the highly controversial E1 plan for greatly expanding the Maale Adumim settlement.

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