[creeping annexation] Israel to confiscate 3,000 acres of Palestinian land in occupied Jordan Valley

Middle East Monitor  /  October 16, 2020

The Israeli occupation authorities are planning to confiscate almost 3,000 acres of Palestinian land in the northern Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank in order to expand illegal Jewish settlements, Wafa news agency has reported.

The Jordan Valley makes up about one third of the total area of the West Bank.

According to a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority’s Apartheid Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission, the Israeli confiscation order comes under the pretext of transferring the property to three natural reservoirs in the area.

Qasem Awwad insisted that this is simply an excuse to serve the illegal settlement construction and expansion project.

Most of the land to be confiscated is located in areas adjacent to the illegal settlement of Rotem, explained Awwad, which was founded in 1984 as a military outpost before it was turned into an agricultural settlement. The settlements of Maskiyot and Mesovah are also connected to the plan. The Oslo Accords designated 60 per cent of the occupied West Bank as “Area C” which is under full Israeli administrative and security control and covers the land in question.

The decision comes a month after Bahrain and the UAE normalised relations with Israel in moves that Abu Dhabi claimed would stave off the occupation state’s planned annexation of huge swathes of the occupied West Bank. However, although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed the move, he reasserted last month that he has not abandoned his annexation plan, it has simply been delayed.

Roughly 650,000 Israeli settlers live in illegal settlements built in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967. All of Israel’s settlements and outposts are illegal under international law.