14:09 GMT +3 hours25 May 2016
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Israeli officers from the Border Patrol watch over the demolition of a building at the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank town of Ramallah, Wednesday, July 29, 2015.

Israel Razes EU-Built West Bank Humanitarian Buildings, Announces Land Grab

© AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov
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Amid heightened tensions between Israel and Western allies, Jerusalem on Thursday confirmed a major annexation of 154 hectares (380 acres) of territory north of the occupied West Bank.

Israel's announcement of it's largest agricultural land seizure since 2014 has drawn harsh criticism from Palestinian and Western authorities. Palestine officials announced they would push for a UN resolution decrying Israeli settlement policies.

"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," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

The move follows diplomatic clashes this week between Washington and Jerusalem, as US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro angered Israeli state representatives by issuing a statement that the US was concerned and perplexed by Israel's West Bank policy.

"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," deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Wednesday.

In a move certain to bite the hand that feeds, Israeli forces destroyed six housing structures in the West Bank that were part of a project funded by a humanitarian arm of the EU. The structures were intended for Bedouins living in an area between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, locally known as E1. Israeli construction in the area would split the West Bank, cutting Palestinians off from East Jerusalem, the city they seek to make their capital.

Israeli officials have not responded to global condemnation of the demolitions and incipient annexation, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested last week that EU construction in the area, whether humanitarian or otherwise, was not legal.

"They're building without authorization, against the accepted rules, and there's a clear attempt to create political realities," he remarked to media.

To justify the seizure of land, Israel has previously used an 1858 Ottoman law stipulating that land that lies uncultivated for a specific period of time can revert to government property.

Territories that Israel intends to appropriate are part of the land Palestinians claim for the recognition of their independent state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem; areas Israel seized in the 1967 Six-Day War.

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Tags:
seizure, Six-Day War, UN, West Bank, Palestine, Israel
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  • cast235
    Perhaps bulldozing Netanyahoo's home and giving the lads to Palestine will teach him a lesson. But he feels too DEMI GOD . Like no one can touch the U.S or him. So thought Hitler. Napoleon. The Khan. And many others.

    In other words all talk no action. Ban Ki Moon will soil pants when Kerry go talking.
    Russia is friendly to Israel won't act. Palestine is isolated from the worlds and U.N as a result.
  • choticastile
    How on earth is it that Israel is it would seem, ALWAYS allowed to get away with flagrantly trashing International Law? Why is their never a global outcry about its murderous operations against the Palestinians?

    Israel must either be a dictatorial police state, controlling all its citizens completely, or its own citizens would long since have stood up to their government or. if not controlled by a despot government, then the deafening silence of all Israelis in Israel conveys loudly to the world, that they too are in complete acquiescence with their government's ongoing theft of Palestinian land.

    At this point, Israel's actions towards Palestine, is far worse, than the actions of even South Africa's Apartheid regime! -- Israel too is showing itself to be an illegal regime -- not a legal, democratic government.

    As for the UN -- what a sham they are - a toothless, lame dog and utterly biased organisation, unable to implement International Law or taking severe action against ANY country in breach of International Law.

    The world is a sick place, run on favouritism and even racism -- yes racism -- for is Israel not applying the most evil form of racism against Palestine? To all clear thinking, common sense people Israel's discrimination and blatantly racial policies against Palestine, are in the face evident and condemned as inhuman.

    If there is any genuine justice left in this world, then for sure, by due process, Benjamin Netanyahu's days should be numbered to one hand.
  • margaridaoulman
    What are we citizens of the EU waiting to boycott all items of Israel, for all the atrocities it is doing to the Palestinians, all the illegal settlements that are being built illegally and now the once again land grab from helpless deffenceless peoples. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
  • hopscotch64
    No more resolutions now is the time for serious sanctions.
  • choticastilein reply tomargaridaoulman(Show commentHide comment)
    margaridaoulman, Super you commented here ... saw your comment on FB. Thanks Margarida! I sometimes copy the FB comments and with due credits, paste them on SN comment section. This has nothing to do with Israel's Jewish-ness, but that it should by International Law, be as accountable for its actions, as any other country in the world -- notwithstanding each country's religious persuasion. But then, look at what Saudi Arabia gets away with -- both these nations' allowed to get away with the worst atrocities known to modern man!
  • And nothing will happen as usual..
  • jerrys57
    Really??...Gosh!
  • skylein
    I see they're using a Swedish machine (Volvo) to do it. What pharisees!
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