Batsheva Sobelman, LOS ANGELES TIMES
JERUSALEM (L.A. Times) — Israel appropriated a swath of 990 acres in the West Bank on Sunday and declared the Palestinian area south of Bethlehem to be Israeli “state lands,” local media reported.
According to the veteran anti-settlement group Peace Now, the declaration is the largest of its kind since the 1980s and stands to change the area dramatically.
The group said the Bethlehem area lands are earmarked for a massive expansion of the small settlement of Gevaot, which could grow into a town connected to the so-called Green Line that marks the border that stood prior to the 1967 war.
The announcement of the appropriation was made by COGAT, the military unit implementing the policies of Israel’s government in the Palestinian territories it controls.