West Bank Land Seizure Is Israel's Biggest in Decades
Appropriation seen as revenge for murder of Israeli teens
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2014 10:56 PM CDT
Updated Sep 1, 2014 3:42 AM CDT
A Palestinian waves a national flag in front of Israeli soldiers during a protest against the building of settlements at Gush Etzion junction, near the West Bank town of Bethlehem.   (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

(Newser) – In a move the US calls "counterproductive," Israel has made a huge land seizure in the West Bank and is expected to use it to expand Jewish settlements. The Israeli anti-settlement group Americans for Peace Now says the 990-acre seizure in an area called the Etzion bloc—one of the parts of the West Bank that Israel wants to keep under any future deal with the Palestinians—is the biggest appropriation of its kind since the 1980s, the Los Angeles Times reports. A spokesman for the group calls the move a "stab in the back" to Palestinian moderates.

The appropriation is being seen as revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the area in June, which sparked the recent fighting in Gaza, Voice of America notes. Israel says the area has been declared "state land" not owned by Palestinians, the New York Times reports, but the local mayor says the area is planted with olive trees and belongs to Palestinian families. A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority says the move will "further deteriorate the situation," and officials will seek to have the decision reversed.

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Showing 3 of 132 comments
Sep 1, 2014 4:26 PM CDT
If you've seen the aerial footage of the Gaza strip taken after Israel bombed it, you know that they virtually destroyed every habitable building that a Palestinian lived in. Israel needs to be put in its place by the Arab countries.
Sep 1, 2014 2:26 PM CDT
For all of you misguided pro Palestinians, they cheered after 911. They hate you and me just as they hate Israel. What you get from biased media is lie after lie about how Islam is peace loving. Islam enslaves it's women (which we are supposed to abhor, but don't) Europe is now paying dearly for their tolerance of Islam.
Sep 1, 2014 11:39 AM CDT
It was a mistake for Israel to give up the Gaza strip to make "peace". It has been nothing but trouble for them since. We should be helping Israel take the rest back. Since when were the Palestinians ever our friends. That's why this country is in the shape it's in now. We have turned our backs on Israel and lost GOD's favor. Shame on us.