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Israel Announces Major West Bank Land Appropriation for Settlement

FILE - In this file photo taken Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, Palestinian children wash their faces for the preparation of the Friday prayers as they stand among the ruins and the fallen minaret of the Al-Sousi mosque that was destroyed in an Israeli strike at Shati refugee camp in Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip. Abbas has accused Hamas of needlessly extending fighting in the Gaza Strip, causing a high death toll. He told Palestine TV in remarks broadcast Friday, Aug. 29, that "it was possible for us to avoid all of that, 2,000 martyrs, 10,000 injured, 50,000 houses (damaged or destroyed)." (AP Photo/Adel Hana, File)
In this file photo taken Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, Palestinian children wash their faces for the preparation of the Friday prayers as they stand among the ruins and the fallen minaret of the Al-Sousi mosque that was destroyed in an Israeli strike at Shati refugee camp in Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Adel Hana, File)

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.

 

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